GREENVILLE — A historic Greenville City Park icon came tumbling down Thursday.
The Marling Band Shell, home of the Greenville Municipal Concert Band, which offers free concerts to the community during the summer months, fell victim to the earthmover, which began scraping away the shell’s aluminum siding for recycling before wrecking the structure itself.
City workers removed fixtures and disconnected electricity to the building in preparation for its demolition. Workers with J&A Construction, contracted by the city, commenced with its destruction soon after.
Built in 1934, the condition of the structure has rapidly deteriorated over the years, necessitating its renovation or a more complete reconstruction. Marling Band Shell organizers have put together funding from community donations and a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to build a new band shell. However, a significant funding shortfall remains if the building is to house three restrooms — men’s, women’s, and a family restroom — as originally conceived.
On Tuesday, Greenville Park Board President Dale Musser asked Greenville City Council to provide an additional $72,891.84 to finish the project. The group thus far has received donations from the community and businesses totaling more than $164,000, a $19,000 grant from the Lucille Clark Trust, and $150,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Timing is of the essence, as construction of the band shell must be completed by October 31 or the $150,000 grant from ODNR could be withdrawn. Greenville City Council’s Finance Committee will meet May 23 to discuss the matter and give a recommendation to council.
Few people were on hand to witness the tear down, which happened with little prior notice.
When asked if seeing the demolition was bittersweet, Musser responded, “It’s time. It’s past time.”
Musser, though, expressed confidence the remaining funding needed for the new band shell will come together.
“It’s going to happen,” he said. “It will be built.”
Regardless of whether or not the city agrees to fund the remainder of the project, one fact remains: The old Marling Band Shell is no more.
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