- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs historical structure that’s stood vacant for years will soon undergo renovation.

City parks director Larry Foster told the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/1BbrswC ) of plans to create an open-air pavilion at a local building formerly used as a trolley equipment repair shop and later turned into apartments. The project will be funded by both public and private grants.

The building is said to have been associated with the Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway, established in the late 1800s, said John Batt, Council Bluffs’ assistant park director.

Foster said the Council Bluffs Public School District initially developed the idea for the space as the district’s summer lunch program needed a shelter to continue.

“In looking how to do that, it became clear there wasn’t adequate property to build a new shelter, so the best alternative was converting the trolley building into a pavilion,” Foster said.

Council Bluffs plans to budget $76,000 for the renovation, and the school district has contributed $25,000. An additional $15,000 private donation is expected, Foster said.

Renovation includes removing three brick panels on two sides of the structure to open the building up and installing windows and the other two sides. Foster said the pavilion will be open to the public.

Foster said he is unsure when construction will begin.

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

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