In two weeks, the city of Longview has received $925 in private donations to build a pavilion on the public library lawn for the newly restored Shay Locomotive.

“That is a long way from the estimated $75,000 cost, but it is a start!” City Manager Bob Gregory said in an email last week.

The size of the contributions has ranged from $5 to $500, Finance Director Kurt Sacha said.

On Aug. 1, the city announced it would try to raise enough money this month to build a 20-by-60-foot pavilion for the historic 1924 logging locomotive, which rusted on the library lawn for decades after Long-Bell Lumber Co. gave it to the city in 1956. The pavilion would have a heavy timber truss under a metal roof supported by eight log columns surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. City officials hope donated materials will offset the cost, estimated by architect Craig Collins to range from $50,000 to $75,000.

Given all the time and money citizens have spent restoring the city-owned engine, those involved in the massive project want to be sure resources for a shelter are lined up before the Shay is hauled from storage to the library. If that doesn’t happen by the end of August, the Shay will sit in storage for another year while the city seeks outside money for the pavilion. Because the locomotive weighs a whopping 48 tons when fully assembled, the ground must be dry and hard when it’s set onto a rail bed at the library, which means the move must happen in late summer.

Gregory said Brian Magnuson of Cascade Networks has volunteered to serve as general contractor/project manager for the pavilion’s construction.

Checks earmarked for the Shay pavilion may be sent to the city of Longview, P.O. Box 128, Longview, WA 98632. Donors will receive a letter from the city acknowledging the tax-deductible contribution. The city is also seeking donations of building materials and professional labor for the project. Contact city planner Adam Trimble at 360-442-5092 with questions.

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