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WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2007
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The roof of a picnic pavilion in Julian Harris Park is in need of repair. Decatur Parks and Recreation Department plans to replace the shingles with a more durable metal roof.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
The roof of a picnic pavilion in Julian Harris Park is in need of repair. Decatur Parks and Recreation Department plans to replace the shingles with a more durable metal roof.

Pavilion renovations in the works pavilion
Julian Harris Park will be ready for students in August

By Catherine Godbey
cgodbey@decaturdaily.com 340-2441

Ask Larry Hargett to describe Julian Harris Park and he will speak of a dilapidated roof covering the picnic pavilion and a dead tree that lines the walking trail.

Hargett believes both of these features could pose dangerous situations.

For two years Hargett has chronicled the deterioration of the pavilion.

"First, the shingles started coming off, then sections of the tar paper blew off, now in some places the wood decking is exposed. It's only a matter of time before the wood starts rotting," said Hargett, a resident of Southwest Decatur who walks the trail with his two dogs.

The Decatur Parks and Recreation Department is trying to repair the pavilion's roof.

According to Director Jeff Dunlap, work was to take place at the beginning of the summer. When the department tried to coordinate the project with a Boy Scout who wanted to undertake the restoration, delays occurred.

"Groups who want to take on projects get in contact with us all the time," Paul Floyd, Decatur Parks and Recreation maintenance director, said.

"Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. This time, because of lack of communication, they didn't."

With roofing materials in stock and an employee examining the pavilion's damage this week, Floyd anticipates construction to begin by the end of July.

A metal roof is replacing the shingles that cover the picnic area. The department selected a metal roof for its longevity and its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Bill Mears of Pioneer Roofing Co. said metal roofs, when applied correctly, more than double the life expectancy of composite shingles.

Along with the security a metal roof provides, the department also wanted to achieve a consistent appearance among city parks.

"We chose tin because we are going for a uniform look around the city," Floyd said. "The pavilions at Point Mallard and Wilson Morgan were recovered with tin earlier this summer. We are also planning on roofing the rest of the city pavilions with tin at some point."

The roof started to deteriorate because of its age, falling limbs and the high winds associated with thunderstorms. Floyd expects installation to be complete by the beginning of school.

In addition to a new roof, the renovation of Julian Harris Park includes the removal of a dead tree.

Hargett believes the tree poses a threat because of its proximity to the walking trail and the amount of thunderstorms Decatur is experiencing. Decatur Beautification workers cut down the tree Monday after a call from The Daily.

Linda Eubanks, landscape and beautification coordinator, said the Parks and Recreation maintenance department informs her of potential tree hazards.

"We get to them (dead trees) as soon as we can," Eubanks said. "Any place where the public is, we consider high priority."

With a new roof installed and a dead tree removed, the renovated park will be ready for students returning to Julian Harris on Aug. 9.

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