The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners has approved contracts for the construction of a pavilion at Rockfield Park on the town’s east side.
During Tuesday night’s town meting, the commissioners approved a $74,550 contract with Cunningham Recreation to erect the pavilion and a $32,000 contract with Ivy Hill Landscaping of Joppa to provide access improvements and landscaping for the site.
The pavilion, which will be built on a rise to the west of the park’s playground and recreation fields and parking lot, is part of the park’s overall master plan, according to town Planning Director Kevin Small, who has been working on implementing the plan.
The pavilion, which Small described as a “polygon” shaped structure, will be 40 feet across the front, 25 feet on the sides and 30 feet across the rear. It will be used for shows and concerts, outdoor classes and other group activities in the park.
Small said the pavilion is manufactured by RCP Structures, which Cunningham represents and installs.
The pavilion will be built overlooking a natural bowl between the playground and fields and Rockfield Manor house. This area was identified in the master plan for use as a natural amphitheater.
Small said construction will begin in the May to June period and should be completed during the summer.
Most of the funding for this project is from the state, Small said. In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly approved state bond legislation for the amphitheater project.
Under that legislation, the town was required to provide a 100 percent in-kind match, according to Small, who said the requirement is being met through construction of a handicapped accessible parking lot in front of the manor house and a new paved trail in the park.
Small said the contract with Cunningham is through a State of Delaware contract, and the structure has been “value engineered,” which is helping the town keep the cost in line with available funding.
The master plan for the 50-acre park, which is off Churchville Road, was developed in the early 1990s, after the town acquired the property and buildings, including the manor house.
A fact sheet that accompanied the 2016 request for state funding stated that there was an ongoing need for a pavilion, as an increasing number of events held in the park “require a stage or covered meeting area…”
The town and the non-profit Rockfield Foundation, which oversees the park manor house and outbuildings, jointly funded the new 25-space parking lot and trail improvements that are part of the town’s required match on the pavilion grant, according to town officials.