Rotary Pavilion is getting an update

Jackson Sorensen, Staff Reporter

The Rotary Pavilion on Fourth Avenue and Pearl Street, is a little pocket park in downtown Ellensburg. Jazz in the Valley has performed there every summer. There is a covered gazebo, benches and a statue of the Ellensburg Bull where pictures can be taken. 

The pavilion is in the process of updating its look. Since 1980, the City of Ellensburg has subleased the property and has been responsible for its upkeep. In September 2019, the City of Ellensburg bought the 24,500 square foot lot where the former Wells Fargo drive-through is located. 

Brad Case, the Parks and Recreation director, is responsible for the 250+ acres of park facilities owned by the City of Ellensburg. 

“There is no renaming. There was no name to begin with. About this time last year, we were taking nominations for the name of the future town center,” Case said. “We received over 70 nominations for the new park.” 

According to Case, the way that this process works is that names are solicited from the general public which are then forwarded to Parks and Recreation Commission. The Commission then comes up with a recommended name and presents the name to the City Council who, ultimately, decide on a name. 

 “The City Council can either adopt the suggested name from the Commission or they can go out on their own and come up with a new name,” Case said. “We went through that process at our Parks and Rec meeting in March of 2020 and then our situation changed. So the names that we were going to bring to the Council got delayed.” 

Once the Commission meetings were able to resume, a suggested name was sent to the City Council. The Council then decided to reopen the naming process. 

“The naming process is meant to focus on the uniqueness of the community and the diversity. The Council is looking to honor the community and all that it has to offer,” Case said. 

The survey is open to the public and is available for access on the City Council website. The deadline for name suggestions is Feb. 26.   

Some of the potential changes coming to the park would include a water feature, tables and chairs, a shade canopy and a larger grassy area. 

“The idea is that people could buy some food or beverages from the many businesses surrounding the park and enjoy them in the park, in the grass or under the shade,” Case said. “We want to turn this into a public recreational space that can continue to host the events that are being put on at the pavilion.” 

This project is still in the early stages since the arrival of the pandemic slowed the process down in March 2020. The Commission will be taking the 70+ names suggested last year along with names suggested this year when they come up with suggested names to present to the City Council.