Logan Ramsey, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
ARTIST RENDERING COURTESY OF BERRY PUBLIC RELATIONS
Construction of an outdoor event space by Oak Hill began April 2 after a groundbreaking ceremony. The pavilion will be a venue for weddings, seminars, corporate meetings and other events. It should be finished by the end of the year.
The 5,760 square-foot structure will have space for up to 300 guests. Depending on the weather and preference of guests, the pavilion can be a closed air-conditioned space or multiple French doors along the sides can be opened to transform the space into an open-air pavilion.
The pavilion is being built to serve Berry students, alumni and the Rome community. It will match the style of Oak Hill and align with Martha Berry’s vision of hospitality. Most notably, construction will involve Berry students.
According to vice president for finance Brian Erb, students will undertake various construction-related tasks as the facility begins to come together in the coming months. Student tasks will include staging and organizing construction materials and assisting in framing, carpentry, plumbing, landscape installation and maintenance.
“It features donated materials. Particularly notable are the juniper beams and full-lite exterior wooden doors,” said Scott Breithaupt, assistant vice president campaign and leadership giving.
Berry alumnus Al Christopher (‘61) is managing the project.
“The design reflects the vision of craftsman Al Christopher showcasing his woodworking expertise,” Breithaupt said.
Christopher attended Berry with his wife. Since graduation, they have not stopped serving Berry and have attended Work Week for nine straight years.
Christopher has also helped with the design and construction of the outhouses located outside of The House O’ Dreams. In 2011, Christopher led the “Outhouse O’ Dreams” project. He built the outhouse with fellow alumni and other volunteers. He also helped with the construction of the equipment barn for the Season’s Harvest student enterprise.
“He is always willing help,” director of alumni relations Jennifer Beard said. “He has a deep love for this place.”