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Sturdy & Attractive Weather Protection Required for Market Activities

large brick and cement sign for farmers market

A monument placed between the pavilions recognizes the supporters and sponsors of the Farmers’ Market.

Farmer’s Markets are much more than a place to buy and sell fresh produce and other locally sourced items. For some, a recurring Farmers’ Market provides a place to socialize, exchange recipes with friends and acquaintances, and an opportunity to support local family farmers. Founded in 1998, the Farmers’ Market Group in Atchison, Kansas, has provided a heaping dose of all those elements. But at their outdoor location along Main Street, the one thing they didn’t have was protection from inclement weather.

From the start, the Atchison Farmers’ Market was held in a large expanse of parking lot adjacent to the 5th Street viaduct bridge. When the Farmers’ Market Group approached city leaders about their need for an adequate structure to shelter market vendors and patrons from the elements, the city turned to Snyder & Associates to help guide the effort. Our team set about gathering feedback from end-users to help drive design decisions, provide the amenities required by the group, and recommend pavilion shelter options that would be both aesthetically pleasing and practical.

Outdoor Space that Meets Market Group Requirements

As part of the design and construction services provided by our team, extensive consideration was given to creating an environment that directly complemented the existing features in the area, including cohesion with the mosaic tile walls created by the Atchison Art Association several years prior. These walls add an artful element to the market site, as well as provide a buffer between the market location and the adjacent rail yard. The design team also accommodated for a future 10-foot wide trail tying the market area to the river walk.

rendering of proposed farmers market pavilionOther “must-haves” on the group’s wish list was a desire for safe and efficient vehicle and pedestrian access to the structures, including full ADA compliance. Repairs and modifications to the existing pavement in the parking area would be necessary to accommodate the needed improvements and adjust for utility coordination relative to footings for any new structure.

Pavilion Structures Provide Protected Environment for Market Users

After compiling all relevant information while working with the city, art association, and the Farmers’ Market Group, the Snyder & Associates team recommended the construction of two, 120’ x 40’ pavilions, one on each side of the 5th Street viaduct. These structures would include lighting and electrical outlets, provisions for ceiling fans, and a curb reconfiguration and new pavement that allows direct vehicle access for vendors.

Our group acted as the primary project coordinator and site designer for the city. We developed the plans and specifications that allowed city personnel to directly purchase the pavilion structures and bid a site improvement package for the associated pavement modifications. Snyder & Associates also coordinated with the various suppliers and contractors involved and determined appropriate milestones to keep the project on time and at budget. When the project commenced in the fall of 2018, one critical requirement included the completion of the improvements in time for the Farmers’ Market mid-May opening in 2019. Our team worked diligently with city leaders and market vendors to achieve this critical goal.