MARQUETTE - A new pavilion is under construction on Northern Michigan University's campus, the result of a portion of a $650,000 donation.
"It provides us a facility that Northern has always needed and never had," said Martha Haynes , NMU vice president for advancement. "Any time we want to do anything outdoors in the summer, we have to plan for weather and put up a tent and this way, we'll always have a facility - a permanent facility - we can use for campus visits during admissions in the summer, after football games. As long as the weather is nice, it will be used a lot."
The pavilion will be named after the donor, Waino Wahtera, whose estate donation will be used in part to build the pavilion located next to Lee Hall in the area where Carey Hall was.
An artist’s rendering of the new Waino Wahtera Pavilion shows its location near Lee Hall on Northern Michigan University’s campus. (Photo courtesy of NMU)
Construction began in July on the new pavilion, with work on the foundation shown here. The pavilion was made possible due to a $650,000 donation from Wahtera’s estate, part of which will fund the structure’s construction. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Haynes said the pavilion will hold a special meaning for the Wahtera family, whom Haynes said the university consulted on how best to use the large donation.
"We talked to his family about how they wanted the gift used," Haynes said. "His family home sits right below where the pavilion will be built. They said he would love it, it would overlook his childhood home."
The facility will also be available as a rental.
According to NMU Assistant Director of Facilities Brandon Sager, work has already begun on the pavilion, with prep-work being completed for the structure's foundation.
Contracting with Closner Construction for general construction and using a pavilion framework bought from the downstate company Poligon - which specializes in manufacturing outdoor structures - Sager said the project is tentatively slated for completion in mid-September.
The building will have concrete flooring and infrared heating hanging from the rafters, allowing the venue to be used in cooler weather.
Sager said the project is budgeted to use roughly one third of the donation from Wahtera's estate.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.