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Pavilion work resumes at Conner Waterfront Park

La Conner's iconic fish slide is temporarily closed and awaiting repairs, but visible progress has been made on another key feature of Conner Waterfront Park.

The Town Public Works Department has installed column foundation posts and construction has resumed on a long-sought pavilion at the shoreline park below Rainbow Bridge.

Work on the project was suspended for a few weeks due to wet weather and other department priorities, some of which were carried out while crews were shorthanded.

Town Parks Commission members are now hopeful a projected May 31 finish date for the project can be met.

At its April 10 meeting, the advisory panel discussed having a dedication ceremony once construction is completed. Commissioner Mike Bucy has offered to play his guitar at the yet-to-be scheduled event, and Town Administrator Scott Thomas and Mayor Marna Hanneman have been contacted about their potential participation.

Commission chair Ollie Iversen is likewise seeking representatives of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community to bless the pavilion.

Public Works Director Brian Lease has said the pavilion – along with the salmon slide, restrooms and a play area – has from the beginning been a major part of the overall concept plan for Conner Waterfront Park.

Fundraising for the pavilion began several years ago, supported by the town and private donors – most notably the La Conner Rotary Club – but construction originally slated for 2020 was delayed due to the need for shoreline restoration and rising costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

In the meantime, the town secured necessary approval for shoreline and building permits.

"The day it's finished needs to be celebrated," Iversen said during a commission meeting earlier this year. "We've been doing this since 2019."


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