The organization is donating their time and skill to the Raider Drive park project made financially possible by Bob Card.
“Men and Women of Action are very pleased to be a part of making a contribution to the city,” L. Hugh Carver, director of Men and Women of Action, said. “Mr. Card said he would donate the money if Men [and Women] of Action would build it.”
Men and Women of Action also built the restroom near the Raider Drive playground.
The trusses and roof for the pavilion have already been installed.
The trusses, large triangle pieces that support the roof, were assembled by hand at the site.
“We’ve custom built every bit of this. This is our design, our build,” Carver said.
Each roof truss is made of Western Cedar beams bolted together to make a large triangle supported by smaller beams creating smaller triangles inside the larger ones. Metal plates, coated through donated work by Southern Powder Coating, provide reinforcement to the beams’ connection points. Large bolts go through the plates and into the connecting pieces of wood.
“There is 4,500 pounds of steel just in those plates. Those things are heavy. There is 406 bolts drilled through,” Carver said.
The bolt had to “be specially ordered out of Atlanta to make them the right length,” Carver said.
“This is an art just putting them together without any cracks,” Carver said.
The trusses took about a day and a half to complete. It took four hours to install the trusses using a construction crane.
“It’s a great reward just to see them up. It’s something you stand back and feel like you can be proud of,” Ed Manous of Canton, Ga., said.
Manous has volunteered with the organization since 2000, mostly on wood-related projects.
Carver said the pavilion will also feature a 10-foot wide rock fireplace. This is one element of the project the organization is paying an experienced mason to complete.
Electricity is also being run to the pavilion to make it a good place for family parties, Carver said. The stone will be brought to the site from Clarksville.
Different teams of volunteers will work on different sections of the project to create a wood-structure pavilion with a rack retaining wall and large fireplace.
The rockwork will take the longest, Carver said.
The project will take at least another month to complete.
Carver said the idea originated with Fred Garmon of People for Care and Learning, while sitting in a similarly designed pavilion that sits on Carver’s property.
“Fred was out sitting in front of my fireplace when he got this wild idea and I told him no,” Carver said.
Yet, when Card made the donation and asked that Men and Women of Action construct a similar structure on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, Carver changed his mind.
The City of Cleveland has also partnered on the project by paying the building permit fees.
The project has a personal significance to Carver as it is being built near a tree donated in memory of his son Tyler, who died in June 2008.
“That was his school,” Carver said, looking across Raider Drive at Cleveland High School.
Tyler had been involved in sports and music at the school.
Tyler died on June 9, 2008, from injuries received in an automobile accident. Tyler had also been involved in Men and Women of Action, making several mission trips with the organization, according to his obituary.
Carver said building the pavilion was like he was doing something for Tyler.
“There is a lot behind it,” Carver said.
Carver said Men and Women of Action has teams working in various parts of the world and will have teams working on new projects in coming months.
Men and Women of Action is a ministry of the Church of God International Offices.