Pavilion planned for Vets' Home


BENNINGTON >> Officials with the Vermont Veterans' Home hope to have a new pavilion completed on the grounds this fall.

Capt. Alan W. Gibney, who died from ALS two years ago this month, left a $100,000 donation to be used for building a pavilion on the grounds of the Veterans' Home. The pavilion, to be dedicated in his name, would be adjacent to the dock at Charron Pond.

The donation was made to the Friends of the Vermont Veterans' Home, a nonprofit that's separate from the state-run nursing home. Trustees for the home voted this week to accept the pavillion as a gift upon its completion.

Plans have been drawn up and a contractor is selected, according to Jon Endres, the home's environmental services director. The goal is to have the pavilion completed in time for a dedication ceremony around Veterans' Day, he said. A small bathroom would be completed in the spring as a second phase.

The news was welcomed by trustees. Col. Joseph Krawczyk, president of the board, said the project would be good for staff and for veterans. Residents in wheelchairs must be wheeled through grass to go back and forth from the main building to the dock, he said.

The hope is to have a place for outdoor activities that's sheltered from the elements. Melissa Jackson, the home's administrator, said a tent is currently used outdoors. Trustees also look to have community organizations use the pavilion.

Plans reviewed by trustees this week call for a 1,296 square-foot timber framed open structure to be built on a concrete pad, adjacent to Charron Pond at west end of fishing deck. Local white pine timbers from Queensbury, N.Y. would be planed smooth and oil finished. It would have a tongue and groove roof deck with a standing seam metal roof. Brick-faced piers at post locations would match the Veterans' Home exterior.

A small handicapped-accessible bathroom would be placed near the pavilion. The bathroom, which would be winterized and have electrical outlets and some storage space, would be a spring project, Endres said. But a substantial amount of excavation and infrastructure work could be done this fall.

The entire project is expected to be done under budget. Endres said the contractor, Scott Cummings, a special forces veteran, would donate some in-kind services.

Trustees voted unanimously to rescind an October 2014 motion to accept the $100,000 donation from the Friends of the VVH. Then, they unanimously voted to accept the pavilion as a gift once it's completed, reflecting that the nonprofit will oversee its construction. Krawczyk said the home must get the state's permission so it can accept the gift.

Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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