Project aims to spruce up concert pavilion |

Project aims to spruce up concert pavilion

Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A group of local music enthusiasts and designers are working to draw up and raise money for some long-needed improvements to the outdoor music venue at Two Rivers Park, including a roof extension over the stage.

After the final concert of the 2011 Glenwood Springs Summer of Music series with rhythm and blues singer Hazel Miller got rained out last August, Glenwood Springs residents Matt Soltesz and David Darling took it upon themselves to launch the Two Rivers Pavilion Project.

Soltesz and Darling are both members of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ Summer of Music Committee. They also both work professionally as lighting designers and audio technicians for various music events around the area.

“Our goal is to have a more reliable, more functional space that people can use for a variety of events,” Soltesz said. “It is a unique facility, located right on I-70, that could host some larger events in the future if it can be modernized.

The pair approached Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Director Tom Barnes and the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, and got their blessing to proceed.

“This is something that we have talked about as a long-term project, but the city is not in a position to proceed on its own,” Barnes said. “They [Soltesz and Darling] have taken the ball and are running with it to do it through private fundraising.”

They rounded up a design team to help with the effort. That group includes local architect Kurt Carruth, landscape architect John Taufer, structural engineer Dale Kaup and surveyor Jeff Robison.

The project’s main feature will be a permanent roof extending about 20 feet over the stage from the existing building. The overhang will protect performers from the sun and rain, where now there is a completely exposed stage.

Recycled materials, including steel support beams and corrugated metal roofing from the old Glenwood Springs Post Independent building on Grand Avenue, is also to be used for the project. That building is scheduled to be torn down later this month. The salvaged materials will be stored on city property near the airport until it’s needed for the pavilion project.

A new permanent public restroom facility is also to be built behind the concert pavilion, replacing the portable toilets that are now used during the summer concert series. Other project components are to include:

• A backstage talent/staff break area and loading dock.

• Updated electrical service and rigging.

• New landscaping and bermed areas to enhance the venue.

• Designated vendor areas and access.

As part of the effort, the existing restrooms near the Two Rivers Park ball field and playground are also to be renovated and brought up to standards for handicap access, Soltesz said.

An official campaign to raise the estimated $500,000 needed to complete the project has been launched online at The group plans to be actively soliciting donations for the project at this summer’s concert series and at other community events.

The goal is to start construction later this year and have the project completed by Memorial Day 2013, in time for that summer’s concert series.

“We want to make this a community project, and open it up to anyone who would like to help,” Darling said.

The project also seeks to preserve the history of the park pavilion. The facility was built by volunteers in 1986 in memory of the 12 people who were killed in a 1985 propane explosion at the former Rocky Mountain Natural Gas building on nearby Devereux Road.

A brass plaque on the east wall of the pavilion honors those who were killed. The area will be cleared of overgrown vegetation as part of the current project so that it is more visible, said Darling, who grew up in Glenwood Springs.

The landscaping for the project is also being designed to complement the row of 12 Austrian Pine trees that were planted in honor of the 12 victims and their families on the hillside to the north of the stage.

“We really want to reaffirm that legacy, and believe that is something that will be appreciated by the community and the families,” Soltesz said.

Other project partners include the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts/Summer of Music, Symphony in the Valley, the Two Rivers Community Foundation, Valley Events and the Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Commission.

For more information about the project, visit the website []. Questions or comments can be directed to, and donations can be sent to: Two Rivers Community Foundation Re: Pavilion Project, P.O. Box 1539, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.

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