The pagoda in Point Defiance Park will be open to the public Jan. 12 for the first time since it was damaged by an arsonist in April 2011.
Metro Parks Tacoma officials have scheduled the grand reopening from 2-5 p.m. The event will include displays about the history of the nearly 100-year-old building, as well as an art exhibit focused on the park.
The pagoda was set ablaze by a 16-year-old boy later sentenced to between 2.7 and 3.6 years in juvenile detention for that and other fires at Point Defiance Park.
Crews found deteriorating concrete while making the repairs and doing mandatory code upgrades, which pushed the end of construction from before Labor Day to December.
Costs also climbed, reaching $7 million. About $5 million of that is fire- or code-related and is covered by insurance. An additional $2 million covers improvements to the building and will be funded by park bond revenue.
In addition to improvements related to building-code requirements, the pagoda will have heated flooring to combat the cold trapped by its brick walls and concrete floors. The downstairs will have more multipurpose rooms.
The plaza outside the pagoda, formerly parking, will look like it did a century ago, with mock tracks where the trolley system used to run.
Interior construction is expected to be done by the end of the month, and exterior finishing work on the renovated plaza will likely take until the day before the reopening, Metro Parks spokeswoman Nancy Johnson said.Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268