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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Pavilion frame goes up at new Water Works Park

A event pavilion serves as an exclamation point on the conversion of a city-vehicle parking lot into the new waterfront Water Works Park north of downtown Tampa.

Crews on Tuesday worked on erecting the steel frame for a pavilion this week, trying to make up for lost time from rainy weather and the discovery of more contaminated soil at the site.

The park’s original opening date of July 1 has been pushed back and no new date has been announced. However, pre-opening events have been scheduled this week at Ulele, the new restaurant in the restored Water Works building that gives the area its name.

Ground was broken on the new park in October with the help of Tampa Heights residents and the Gonzmart family, which is opening the restaurant at the north end of the park.

The city-owned Water Works building is a century-old structure that once held the pump house used to tap the nearby spring for Tampa’s drinking water. Today that water comes from the Hillsborough River.

For a long time, the site was used to store city vehicles, a legacy that left the ground there mildly polluted with fuel and other contaminants that required a $500,000 cleanup.

Downpours in May poured mud and silt into the lower basin of Ulele Spring, the centerpiece of the park. The lower basin, which will provide a mixing point for the freshwater spring and the tidal river, needed to be re-excavated, the city said.

The park, at Doyle Carlton Drive and West Henderson Avenue, will include a central lawn, a playground, a dog park and a wooden deck overlooking the river.

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