City Council President on Lakeside Park Pavilion Discussions

The Fond du Lac City Council continued discussions this
week on the design plans for the new Lakeside Park Pavilion. The current design
calls for the new structure to be built on a similar footprint to where the existing
pavilion stands, with construction beginning in August of 2020 and completed
before Walleye Weekend of 2021. The project carries a price tag of $3.5
million, and while concerns have been raised about that amount, City Council
President Brian Kolstad says the building is being built to last. “People are
very concerned about the price tag for it, it is expensive, but we are building
a very robust building, the materials are intended to be durable, it needs to
last a long time – and that adds to the cost of the building,” Kolstad said. “We’re
designing this with the idea that this is going to be a destination within
Lakeside Park that’s going to be there for a long time, and going to be able to
be used in multiple ways and cover a lot of different uses that we see in the

One key part of the current plans that may end up being
taken out is the proposed balcony on the second level of the structure. Kolstad
says after seeing the plans and hearing from members of the public, the lack of
handicap accessibility for the balcony may be its downfall. “We have a lot of
elderly people that are using the park, people with knee or hip issues that
wouldn’t be able to use those stairs.” Kolstad said. “If we’re renovating the
pavilion to accommodate the citizens of Fond du Lac, we need to account for
everyone, and that would limit the benefit to a large segment of the
population.” Kolstad says while most people have said the price was right for
the project, the concerns about it being too expensive lead him to believe the
right choice is to eliminate the balcony and make the facility able to be used
by everyone.

Kolstad says he’s grateful for the community input they
received during their meetings on the pavilion, and while the design may change
slightly, the construction plan should move forward starting next summer.