WIMCO launches Festival Park

Published 1:00 am Friday, April 1, 2011

The construction of the first phase of Washington’s Festival Park project is being performed by a Washington contractor – WIMCO Corp.

The scope of the project includes site preparation, paver drives and walkways in addition to the erection of the premanufactured stage and picnic pavilions. Completion is scheduled for May 2011.

Donald Bundy, a Washington resident, is the superintendent for this project. Bundy, recently promoted to senior superintendent, has been with WIMCO since 1987. He most recently completed the new 21,000-square-foot Family Life Center at Washington’s First United Methodist Church.

“I’m just glad to be working in town,” Bundy said from Chapel Hill on Thursday afternoon.

Damp, cool weather temporarily halted work at the site Thursday. Usually, there are three to four workers on site, Bundy said.

“The city is putting in two structures on the waterfront,” Bundy said.

Other than a few dogs showing up at the site, the project has not run into any problems, Bundy said.

An informal survey of the construction site Thursday revealed what appeared to be partially completed concrete foundations and supports for the stage and pavilions.

The project manager is Robert Smith, one of WIMCO’s senior project managers. Smith has been with WIMCO for 37 years. He lives in Washington.

WIMCO, licensed in seven states, specializes in commercial, institutional and industrial construction.

On Feb. 14, the Washington City Council approved awarding a $125,700 contract to WIMCO to begin building the first phase of Festival Park. The park will be located on the grassy area between the North Carolina Estuarium, the former Maola plant, Water Street and the Pamlico River.

At its Feb. 14 meeting, the council also accepted several monetary donations for Festival Park.

The council accepted a $25,000 check from Marie Tomasulo and her family. The money will be used to help pay for a children’s playground at Festival Park. The playground will be named Papa’s Playground in honor of Tomasulo’s husband, Gary, who died as the result of a fall on Labor Day 2009. Soon after his death, his family established the Gary Tomasulo Downtown Washington Playground Fund as part of an effort to continue Tomasulo’s efforts toward a better downtown for the youth of Washington. In that way, his dream for downtown Washington will always live on, family members said in the days after his death.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Gary Tomasulo Downtown Washington Playground Fund, 107 Island Lane, Washington, NC 27889.

Beth Byrd, director of the Washington Harbor District Alliance, presented a $7,700 check to the council. That money will help pay for Festival Park’s events stage.

Don Stroud, representing the Washington Area Historic Foundation, presented at $1,000 check to the council. That money will be used to erect two pavilions at Festival Park.

In September 2010, the city accepted a $295,125 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to help begin the project. The city is providing another $295,125 toward the project.

In January 2010, the council added the Festival Park master plan to the city’s parks and recreation master plan.

That master plan calls for a performance venue, public restrooms, a children’s play area, picnic shelter and benches, among other things. Susan Suggs, who helped develop the master plan, told the council last year she believes Festival Park will be a complementary addition to the city’s waterfront.

City officials believe Festival Park will support live performances, provide open space where people may relax, create play areas for children and provide opportunities for access to the Pamlico River.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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