LEED-Registered Pavilion Begins to take Shape in Landmark Park Planned for Springfield, Ill.

Erin's Pavilion is on its way to becoming one of the most accessible and environmentally-friendly welcome and visitor centers in the country. With the installation of the structural steel and Insulated Concrete Form walls completed, the facility is on pace to open in June 2009.

Vertegy and The Walton Group Collaborate to Design and Build the First Sustainable Building in Edwin Watts Southwind Park

Springfield, Ill., Dec. 30, 2008 Erin's Pavilion, the first of several buildings to be constructed on the 80-acre future home of the Edwin Watts Southwind Park in Springfield, Ill., is on its way to becoming one of the most accessible and environmentally-friendly welcome and visitor centers in the country. With the installation of the structural steel and Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) walls completed, the facility is taking shape at the project site and on pace to open in June 2009.

The planned 15,000-square-foot pavilion, which is a collaboration between Springfield, Ill.-based architecture firm, Walton and Associates Architects, a division of The Walton Group, and Vertegy, a St. Louis-based sustainability-consulting firm, is tracking for LEED Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. It will serve as a welcome and community center as well as a special needs recreation and education center, accommodating the needs of individuals with all levels of disabilities and abilities in a setting that incorporates a host of environmentally friendly features. While the physical structure of the pavilion is the most visible sign of progress, the project team also has completed the installation of the loops for the nearby lake's hydrothermal system, which will serve as a heating and cooling source.

"The use of Insulating Concrete Forms, the pond loops and other energy conserving features will save the Springfield Park District in utility costs year after year," said Todd Walton, President of Walton Management Consultants, the construction manager for the project.

Erin's Pavilion is being constructed with low-impact building materials, which use high amounts of recycled content. Upon completion, the building will include an abundance of natural daylighting and water conserving fixtures, as well as a 5,500-square-foot banquet space that can accommodate up to 300 people at one time or be subdivided into four separate rooms, which will be equipped to handle multi-media and all configurations of meetings and special events. The remaining 9,500 square feet of the building will house oversized and family bathroom facilities, program rooms, entry hall, administration offices, conference room, storage, and electric and mechanical rooms. The 15,000-square-foot building also will include 5,000 square feet of patio space that will have both covered and uncovered space and will be adjacent to the building, providing views of the lake.

"We are excited to be involved with such a landmark project," said Thomas Taylor, general manager of Vertegy. "Erin's Pavilion is already serving as a springboard from which a variety of other sustainable features are being extended to the rest of the park, and we believe the potential exists for this to truly be a one-of-a-kind public space when finished."

The Springfield Park District in Springfield, Ill. is developing Erin's Pavilion and the other buildings and spaces in The Edwin Watts Southwind Park with the goal of constructing one of the most accessible and sustainable parks ever built. Upon completion, the park will exhibit a multi-use design, providing year-round entertainment and recreation, education, unique water features, open green space and natural habitats, with complete accessibility for all ages and disabilities. Some of the additional features being incorporated into the Edwin Watts Southwind Park include fishing piers, a gazebo on the lake, a 2.5-mile urban trailway, a recreation center, Springfield Children's Museum, outdoor amphitheatre, three playgrounds and a game play area for bocce ball, shuffle board and horseshoes.

For more information on Erin's Pavilion or the Edwin Watts Southwind Park, visit www.springfieldparks.org.

The Walton Group combines three Walton enterprises and over 100 years experience and includes Walton and Associates Architects, founded in 1990, Walton Management Consultants, LLC and Walton Construction Services, LLC. For more information on services offered by this group, call 217.544.5888 or visit www.thewaltongroup.com.

Founded in February 2005, Vertegy provides clients with design, procurement and construction consulting services for green and sustainable facilities. One of the key ways Vertegy serves clients is by helping them gain certification for their projects from various nationally and internationally recognized certification bodies, such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which provides LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. Vertegy which is derived from combining the Latin root for green and strategy is based in St. Louis at the new LEED Platinum-certified Alberici headquarters. For more information, call 314.733.2666 or visit www.vertegyconsultants.com.

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