• Rotary Year: 2019-2020
  • Application Date: 5/29/2019
  • Club Name (Primary): Staunton
  • Club Name 2: Staunton-Augusta County
  • Club Name 3: Waynesboro-East Augusta County
  • Club Name 4: Waynesboro
  • Club Name 5: Nelson County
  • Project Name: Staunton Rotary Club Centennial Pavilion (SCP)
  • Project Total Cost: $66,000.00
  • Grant Amount Requested: $12,000.00
  • Describe the Project, its location and its objectives: : In anticipation of its centennial the Staunton Rotary Club (SRC) organized a Centennial Celebration Committee (CCC) in the summer of 2018. The CCC surveyed the SRC membership and learned that the members wished to honor this milestone anniversary by providing our community with a tangible, useful, and enduring gift. Conversations with the Director of Staunton Parks and Recreation revealed the need for a family-oriented pavilion near the functional center of Montgomery Hall Park (MHP) in Staunton.

    The proposed “timber frame” constructed SCP (estimated to be about 28 feet by 42 feet) will provide a major community meeting resource in support of family gatherings, community picnics, social gatherings and sports related events. It will clearly serve the youth in Staunton since it will be located near the swimming pool, as well as, popular park features such as basketball and tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields and playground facilities. There will be easy access to parking and rest room facilities. Sidewalks serving the area meet ADA standards. Additionally, the adjacent, historic MHP manor house (constructed ca. 1822 by an early Staunton community leader, John Peyton) provides both public interior meeting space and the location of the City of Staunton Parks and Recreation Department offices; the organization which will receive the gift of the SCP and maintain the SCP into the future. The SCP will provide an ideal location to display the Rotary International motto, “Service Above Self”.

    A special feature of the SCP is that a partnership has been developed with members of our community to enable the construction of a unique and historic “timber frame” structure. Timber frame construction features heavy timbers fitted together by mortise and tenon joints celebrating centuries old building methods. Under the leadership of Professor Emeritus Grigg Mullens of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) a group of from 110 to 150 individuals will participate in the project. Expert and highly experienced members of the timber frame community (Timber Frame Construction Leaders) will join VMI cadets and community volunteers, as well as, Rotarians and the City of Staunton in this two week long project. Professor Grigg has led the construction of about 40 such projects in the western Virginia area over the past few decades. Past projects include the VMI rifle range, Jordan Point Park (a Rotary project in Lexington) and a structure for Habitat for Humanity also in Lexington. Recently Hal Aaslestad, of the SRC, observed and participated in the building of a shelter for the playground at Waddel Elementary School in Lexington. A photograph of a similar pavilion at Rockbridge High School in Lexington is attached.

  • Expected Start Date: 10/15/2019
  • Expected End Date: 4/15/2020
  • Expected Number of Beneficiaries: 5000
  • Describe how the project will benefit the community and/or improve the lives of the less fortunate: : The need for pavilion/shelter space in the MHP was the most important item on the list of improvements mentioned by the Director of the Staunton Department of Parks and Recreation. Currently there are three shelters located within the park and they are located a considerable distance from the functional center of the park. They were constructed in the 1970s and while they are adequate for their locations they fail to serve the growing population that uses nearby athletic fields and courts, the swimming pool and the children’s playground. In addition the Natural Playground (another project of the SRC) is nearby. It is significant to note that MHP was historically been used by Staunton’s minority population and in the past was under- resourced. In recent years the City of Staunton has done much to correct this deficiency and the minority community, especially the youth, will benefit greatly from this project. The community near the park is one of modest to middle class economic status and contains a number of large apartment complexes. While this community of users is growing, MHP also attracts individuals from all parts of Staunton and nearby Augusta County. City investments in the swimming pool and sports facilities have proven very popular and growth in park attendance shows that a yearly increase of up to five percent may be expected.

    The distance to Staunton’s other major city park, Gypsy Hill Park, is two miles and there is no public transportation connecting the parks. The SCP will be accessible to all individuals, children, families, social and civic groups and sporting team members as well as visitors to Staunton who are interested in the rich history of Montgomery Hall. Every socio-economic group will benefit from this unique and celebratory pavilion. It is anticipated the SRC will meet at least one time each year, possibly following a softball game, to recall and celebrate its centennial.
  • Expected Total Project Volunteer Hours: 4000
  • Describe the Rotarian hands-on activities in the project (i.e. non-financial participation): Significant Rotarian efforts have already been made on the part of the CCC (120 hours estimated) and continued planning for the SCP will go forward into the coming months. Rotarian fund raising efforts are also hands-on volunteer activity.

    The hands-on work of SRC members will center on providing food service and assistance to the active builders (estimated at 200 hours). This task is one of no small importance or value. The volunteered time of the timber framer community and the VMI cadets (their efforts are part of a VMI sponsored public service/educational program, see letter from Dr. Grigg Mullens also) is estimated to be well over 3,500 hours and is best rewarded by the satisfaction of a successful building effort. But a close second place reward is the sharing of the ages old experience of working together, practicing traditional methods, and by enjoying past experiences and fellowship. Food service serves both to nourish and also add to the overall pleasure of the experience.

    There will be ample opportunity for Rotarians (from all clubs) to observe and participate in the project. Such participation may be limited to the technical/skill set possessed by the member. Direct hands on work may focus more on support of the timber frame teams (each led by a timber frame expert or instructor, total 6 or 7) by carrying tools or finding needed supplies and by offering a sincere “Rotary Thank You”. SRC members will be easily identified and will seek to tell the Rotary story. The motto, “Service Above Self” will be frequently heard.
  • Describe the publicity plan to inform the general public that this is a Rotary sponsored project: There will be substantial publicity surrounding the opening of the SCP at MHP. Television and print coverage is expected and our local and national Rotary organization will be recognized in interviews and also in more in depth coverage. Plans are under way to involve Mary Baldwin University students in producing a documentary on the SCP project. Such a product could be shown both within and beyond the Rotary community.

    A key hallmark of the SRC pavilion project is its celebration of partnership. We will acknowledge the participation of members of partnering Rotary clubs, our “in kind” supporters, the City of Staunton, the timber frame community, the cadets from VMI and all others in public announcements. We will recognize the key partners of this project by a permanent bronze plaque to be displayed near the pavilion.

    A final and most important point relates to the issue of hands on participation since the SRC members will meet and discuss Rotary with a cross section of up to 100 individuals during the week long project. Our members will be wearing Rotary clothing (tee shirts, caps, badges, etc.) and will be “out going” in explaining what Rotary is and how it benefits our community and the world. On site signage will display the Rotary information and thank the participating members and organizations for being a part of Rotaries “Service Above Self”.
  • Cooperating Organizations – Please list each cooperating organization, if any: City of Staunton, Department of Parks and Recreation
    Dr. Grigg Mullens, Virginia Military Institute/ VMI Timber Framing Club

  • Letter(s) of Participation: Participation_Letter_City_of_Staunton.pdf, Participation_Letter_VMI.pdf
  • Project Expenditure Budget – list detail uses of funds for the project, or use the Budget Upload.Project Expenditure Budget has been uploaded
  • Project Funding Budget – list detail sources of funds for the project, or use the Budget UploadProject Funding Budget has been uploaded
  • Budget Upload: Staunton_Centennial_Pavilion_Budget.xls
  • Primary Contact Name: Hal Aaslestad
  • Primary Contact Rotary Position: Chair, SRC Centennial Celebration Committee
  • Primary Contact Email: haaslestad@gmail.com
  • Primary Contact Phone: (540) 946-2530
  • Financial Contact Name: Eric Fitzgerald
  • Financial Contact Rotary Position: Treasurer, Staunton Rotary Charitable Fund, Inc.
  • Financial Contact Address: 
    423 Campbell Street
    Staunton, VA 24401
    United States View on Map
  • Financial Contact Email: fitzgerald.eric.stephen@gmail.com
  • Financial Contact Phone: (865) 200-7765
  • Project Authorization Form: Authorization_Letter.pdf
  • Supporting Uploads: Pavillion_Photo.pdf