More details may come together tonight on the proposed open-air pavilion that would replace the former aviary at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.
The Watertown City Council will get an update on the pavilion at this evenings meeting, which follows a 90-minute meeting Thursday between City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk and zoo Executive Director John T. Wright.
Council members have agreed informally to pursue the pavilion project rather than transform the aviary into a learning center.
Mr. Hauk and Mr. Wright hope tonight to hear decisions by council members on what the pavilion would look like and what types of materials should be used, they said. Mr. Wright also is putting together his own rendering for the project, which would give the city more of an idea of the zoos expectations.
I think we have some unresolved issues that need to be cleared up, Mr. Hauk said Thursday, noting the council and the zoo and city staffs have to agree on what the pavilion would entail.
They are considering a prefabricated or preassembled pavilion with an Adirondack look, Mr. Wright said. The council agreed tentatively to spend no more than the original $320,000 cost estimate on a prefabricated 30-foot-by-50-foot cross-shaped structure, which would have a footprint almost identical to that of the defunct aviary.
Mr. Hauk has estimated it would cost about $170,000 to demolish the aviary and replace it.
Council members agreed to change the aviary projects direction after bids came in last month nearly double the projected $531,000 cost. Meeting with the group that runs the zoo, they toured the site Monday night and discussed the new project for the first time.
At tonights meeting, council members will have to vote on rejecting the bids for the learning center.
Mr. Wright also hopes the city embarks on his plans for improvements to the adjacent childrens zoo. He outlined his ideas to council members last week.
Council members have a full agenda for tonights meeting. Other topics they might discuss include:
■ Figuring out how the Thousand Islands Privateers hockey team playing about 30 games in the Watertown Municipal Arena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds will affect concession revenues and whether more city staff members will have to be added there.
Council members will be asked to add a full-time employee at the ice rink. Staff members expect concession revenues to increase by at least $45,000 because of the Federal Hockey League games.
■ A smoking ban within 50 feet of all city-owned fields. The citys Parks and Recreation Department suggested the ban after receiving numerous complaints about people smoking at athletic fields.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers of City Hall, 245 Washington St.