TREASURE ISLAND — Beachgoers are now using a newly rehabilitated beach pavilion on Sunset Beach, thanks to the completion of a $231,030 renovation.
The facility that houses a picnic and playground area, restrooms, concession area and showers opened the first week of May after being closed since February.
Wood trellises and decking have been replaced with a specially treated wood along with window and countertop repairs, new turtle-friendly lighting, electrical outlets and ramp repairs.
Recreation director Cathy Hayduke said new trash cans, mulch and more showers will be added soon.
The pavilion at 8000 W Gulf Blvd. is one of the city's top recreation draws, Hayduke said, and gets lots of use on the weekends for wedding receptions, graduation parties, memorial services and birthday parties. Renting the facility is $214 for six hours for Treasure Island residents and $321 for nonresidents.
"We have it rented at least three out of four weeks a month March through November," she said.
Boardwalks line the north and south sides of the pavilion leading down to the beachfront. There is metered parking on the south end. A small playground with swings and slides adjoins the pavilion to the north.
The rehabilitation of the 15-year-old structure, built on the site of the former Bedrocks Restaurant, was part of the renovation of three city facilities. The other two were the downtown clock tower and the community center. About $126,030 of the cost of the pavilion project will be paid by city bed tax money.
A few vending machines are the only things in the concession area at the pavilion right now, but Hayduke said the city is negotiating with a concessionaire to provide limited food and beverage service.
Kristy Andersen, outgoing president of the Sunset Beach Civic Association, said the organization is "pleased with the way the building turned out."
The group, which holds two potluck dinners each year, held its May dinner at the pavilion May 6, the day after construction was completed.
"We were very excited the building was going to be finished in time," Andersen said.
There had been some discussion, she said, about tearing down the structure instead of refurbishing it, but she was glad it was restored. "It is a beautiful building," Andersen said.
The civic association is hoping to install a canvas shade over the playground as part of the renovation, she said.
"We've had complaints that the playground equipment gets too hot. We don't have many playgrounds in Treasure Island. We are an older community," Andersen said. "But we are getting more families now."