Community News | CeTech Engineering

Sylva’s Bridge Park project builds bridges between communities

Thursday, 05 June 2008

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Raising the frame.
Memorial Day 2008 was targeted as the raising date for the Bridge Park Pavilion in Downtown Sylva. Two years of planning and fundraising went into bringing this project together. A potluck lunch brought the volunteers together with the craftsmen who handcrafted their pavilion. Volunteers and business people from Sylva and Franklin worked together to make the pavilion happen.

The members of the Downtown Sylva Association had a vision. Architects Philip Buchanan and Odell Thompson put that vision to paper. They drafted the master plan for the Bridge Park Project and included a timber-framed pavilion as the stage. This structure will host plays concerts, festivals and be central to the farmers’ market. A pedestrian bridge ties the project together by connecting Poteet Park and downtown Sylva.

The Association contracted with Goshen Timber Frame to handcraft and raise the timberframed pavilion. Goshen is a Franklin company with a history of community involvement in Macon County. Goshen reached out to their partners and more Macon County businesses stepped up to its them to make the timberframed pavilion an option.
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The Goshen Timber Frames crews show at the end of the day with the Bridge Park Pavilion, Sylva, N.C.
Larry Lackey, with CEtech, a Franklin engineering firm, donated their services for the frame. Mud Creek Express delivered the frame from Franklin to Sylva, donating the haul for the project. J.R. Sanders Crane Company of Franklin provided a crane and operator for raising the massive timbers into place. These companies donated their time and efforts to be part of something much bigger. They truly bridged the communities together with their volunteer efforts.

The crowd watched in awe as the heavy timbers were lifted into place. The pegs that many had signed (for a $10 donation) were driven into the beams making the structure a beautiful testament to the work of many. People from Sylva and Franklin watched and visited as the building rose from the ground up. After two years of hard work, the two communities came together seamlessly to complete the project. Their work will be enjoyed for many years to come and all who venture into Western North Carolina will benefit.

Franklin’s Main Street Program is moving forward with its plan to renew and revitalize the community as well. This event set the stage for sharing resources, for reaching out to nearby communities as they begin to build onto the foundation that is the Town of Franklin. The Downtown Sylva Association and Franklin Main Street Program are paving the way for commercial district development throughout the mountains.

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