Representatives from the Paonia Library and Rotary Club of the North Fork dedicated the log gazebo located on the north side of the library grounds last Thursday. The structure, designed by former Rotary president and architect Norm Luark, and was constructed of almost all local products and age-old, time-tested methods.
Rotary donations and donations from individual Rotarians paid for much of the project.
"I can't even imagine the hours that he spent working on the project from start to finish," said current Rotary president Marsha Grant. "It was a huge undertaking."
Luark said he wanted to contribute something unique to the community. He approached the library three years ago about creating a place where children's reading clubs could gather and enjoy the out-of-doors. The original model took about as long to make as the full-sized structure.
"It was just a remarkable experience," said Luark.
Luark has an architecture degree from CU Denver and had to re-learn some of the trigonometry formulas used in the design. The mortise and tenon joinery used has been in existence for thousands of years. The gazebo contains almost no nails or screws, and special hand tools were used to cut the tenons. Buildings still in existence using these methods have remained standing for hundreds of years, said Luark.
The list of individuals who contributed to the project is long and includes four Paonia High School students. They dedicated one day a week to construction and problem-solving, including how to build the structure to withstand the tests of time without the use of screws and nails.
Luark gave special thanks to PHS student Chelsy Reed, who not only helped during the school year, but showed up every week during the summer of 2014, after she graduated. "Chelsy made a great contribution," said Luark.
A table donated recently by the Friends of the Paonia Library provides a place to sit in the shade and read.