By Carol Vaughn —
A new, $145,350 pavilion under construction at Sawmill Park in Accomac was expected to be complete by the end of December.
The 40’ x 80’ covered structure at the public park will have Wi-Fi available, according to Accomack County Administrator Mike Mason.
“It one of a number of different initiatives the county is pursuing to improve access to high-speed internet during the pandemic,” Mason said.
The structure was paid for by federal assistance provided through the CARES Act.
The pavilion also will provide a venue for picnics, educational programs, and community events once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and warmer weather returns.
“It is our hope and expectation that it will draw more folks to Sawmill Park and improve their outdoor experience while they are there,” Mason said.
The pavilion’s design “pays homage to the days when the park property was used as a lumberyard,” Mason said, adding that the concrete slab on which it stands was used by the lumberyard until it closed.
The 35-acre Sawmill Park, which opened in June 2018, was constructed on the site of a sawmill business that operated for more than seven decades before it closed in 2007.
The park in addition to the pavilion has a ballfield, a concession stand, a playground, picnic tables and grills, a butterfly habitat, bathrooms, a walking trail, and solar panels that provide power to the park and nearby county buildings.
Sawmill Park was created to compensate for land at Wallops Research Park that had been given to the county by the federal government and designated for recreational use.
When the county sought to use that land for part of the research park, county officials had to find an alternate site for a public recreational park.
The park, which was awarded a 2019 Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Award for excellence in local government programs, is at 24387 Joynes Neck Road in Accomac.