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New bandstand planned for Mill Creek Park in South Portland

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New bandstand planned for Mill Creek Park in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND — Bands performing during the 2010 season of the Mill Creek Concerts in the Park will soon have a new stage.

On Monday night, the City Council awarded a $65,000 contract to Uncommon Kitchen and Bath to design a new gazebo for the park.

Parks Operations Manager Sarah Neuts said the Knightville-based business expects to have the new bandstand installed by June 30.

"We are very, very excited about it," Neuts said. "It is certainly going to be the start of something big with the master plan to really bring Mill Creek Park into this day and age."

The new gazebo is one of several recommendations made by Topsham-based landscape architect Regina Leonard, who convinced city officials to scrap plans for a prefabricated, metal gazebo in favor of finding local craftsmen to take on the job.

Company President Karen Lewis said the new gazebo design will incorporate design elements from nearby structures and landmarks, including Mahoney Middle School and the Maine Military Museum.

The gazebo, which will contain interior and exterior lighting, will be placed close to the edge of the pond and face Broadway. There will be stairs on three sides and two seating areas, made out of western red cedar, with partial walls.

The decking will also be western red cedar, but the interior walls and ceiling will be tongue-and-groove pine. The interior will be finished with a solid white stain, but the exterior will be stained cedar shingles.

Neuts said the company, which designed the gazebo in Fort Allen Park in Portland, is hoping to make the gazebo a signature project. Plans include a granite tile with the city logo to be set into the floor.

The company is also interested in designing a new bridge over Mill Creek Pond. The existing structure was condemned by the city after it failed an engineering inspection.

Neuts said the demolition of the old gazebo will likely take place within a few weeks.

Uncommon Kitchen and Bath, at 79 Ocean St., was the only company that submitted a bid for the project; 10 were solicited.

Funding for the project will come from the city's Community Development Block Grant program.

Recreation Superintendent Bill Cary said the Mill Creek Concert series will likely start on July 14. The list of performers is still being finalized, he said.

Neuts said on Wednesday the concerts will go on as scheduled, even if the new gazebo is not finished.

"We could have the performers set up on the lawn area or we could change the venue to another park," she said.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net