THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — The historic Rogers Park pavilion that was damaged in an arson fire March 21 will be repaired if zoning and state permits are obtained.
The Goshen Parks Department is requesting a zoning variance to allow the rebuilding of the pavilion’s roof. The request is necessary because more than 50 percent of the value of the structure is involved and the shelter in Roger’s Park along Chicago Avenue is in the floodplain of the Elkhart River. The Goshen Board of Zoning Appeals and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources both have to approve the plan.
Sheri Howland, parks director, said the city’s insurance adjuster required the city to get several estimates on the work from structural engineers and contractors. Now those estimates are being reviewed by the adjuster.
After the fire it was estimated that $40,000 in damage was sustained but no value for the rebuild has been given. The fire was set in a waste receptacle under the roof, according to fire officials, and then the blaze spread to the roof.
The Goshen Fire Department has offered a $5,000 reward for information that will solve the crime.
The pavilion dates to 1903 when the Rogers Band regularly played in a building supported by the concrete pillars that now support the picnic shelter’s roof.
The Goshen Plan Department staff is recommending the zoning permit be granted. The meeting is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday.