Performance Gazebo Construction Underway; Fund-Raising Concert Set For May 12

Contractors work on the cement slab foundation of the performance gazebo in the Municipal Complex on DeMott Lane.

Construction of the performance gazebo in the Municipal Complex on Demott Lane is underway, even as its organizing committee is still seeking donations.

The 38-foot-wide gazebo will be built near the township library and is seen as a place for the presentation of various forms of entertainment, including music, plays, and dramatic readings.

The organizing committee – Bill Grippo, John Felix and Michael Steinbrück – first brought the project to the Township Council in December 2017 to get its blessing, then started fund-raising.

As of May 9, the group raised about $55,000 in cash and another approximately $20,000 in materials donations, Steinbrück said. He said another approximately $10,000 is needed for “various other things like landscaping and plaques and the reminder of the build.”

The group had originally estimated $50,000 would pay for the build, but had to amend that for several reasons, Steinbrück said.

First, he said, the plan to anchor the gazebo with footings was changed to give it a cement slab foundation instead. For that, a contractor had to be brought in because the township’s Department of Public Works did not have the necessary equipment.

“It’s not something the township does at that scale,” he said.

An artist’s rendering of the gazebo.

Public Works, he said, “helped with grading and building up the pad with stone.”

Then the design had to be modified to allow for full compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, Steinbrück said.

He said the cement slab will be ready by May 11, followed by construction of the actual gazebo. After that, electric will be installed and then the site will be landscaped he said.

The group had estimated that the gazebo would be finished by the township’s July 4 celebration; Steinbrück said on May 9 that the “odds are very good” that that deadline will be met.

The last big fundraising push comes at 7 p.m. May 12, with the annual Franklin Township Community Concert, sponsored by the Cultural Arts Council, at Franklin High School featuring the group, “Motor City Revue.” Also appearing will be the Franklin High School Wind Ensemble and FHS alumna Khailah Johnson.

Tickets for the concert cost $20 and can be purchased here.

The Cultural Arts Council has opened up the concert to “police and first responders, Franklin Food Bank clients and staff, public school staff and others and donors,” Steinbrück said.

Donations to the gazebo fund are tax-deductible, thanks to the East Millstone Historical Society agreeing to act as a flow-through organization for the fundraising effort. The gazebo will be gifted to the township when it is complete, but will be managed by the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council.

Donations can be made online at www.franklincac.0rg. Checks should be made out to emhs-Franklin Gazebo Fund and sent to the East Millstone Historical Society, PO Box 2184, East Millstone, NJ 08875.

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