Storm damage to Penfield Pavilion forces shutdown for repairs
Published 3:13 pm, Thursday, November 1, 2012
The town's newly rebuilt $5.5 million Penfield Pavilion took a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy, and will have to be closed at least two months for repairs.
"We have some damage," Recreation Director Gerald Lombardo said Thursday. "It's repairable."
Anything booked for the pavilion for November or December, however, will be cancelled.
Town officials were down at the beach Thursday morning assessing the damage that was caused by the storm's pounding waves that undermined the building's footings.
They denied, however, rumors that the waterfront building needs to be demolished.
"It was designed for a 100-year storm," Town Engineer Laura Pulie said, and Sandy exceeded that. "This was a remarkable storm, like something we've never seen. It created a new channel right up to the bulkhead."
Pulie said the storm surge not only went over the top of the seawall recently constructed around the pavilion, but also scoured sand underneath weir boards letting the water flow under the building.
"It's repairable, definitely repairable," Pulie said. "We have to shore up the footings, and the inside isn't badly damaged. It can be repaired."
Because of the damage to some of the piers underneath the pavilion, the floor is sagging and the deck is buckling in places.
She said town crews Thursday pushed sand that had heaped round the pavilion back onto the beach to eliminate the channel and prevent water from continuing to flow under pavilion at high tide.
Pulie said the bulkhead and weirboards were built down to 4 feet -- the usual sand scouring seen after big storms. Sandy, however, scoured sand down 8 feet.
"We built it to FEMA regulations," she said.
The new pavilion was built in phases, and completed and fully open to the public in August 2011. After Tropical Storm Irene hit about the same time, a bulkhead was built around the structure to prevent water from flowing underneath.