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Sandy Beach log shelter builder responds to public complaints


Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

It can take Nauman more than a day to cut grooves in logs with unique contours such as the one pictured. Nauman must scribe the logs, create concave grooves with a chisel and ensure the edges of the two logs are in contact. "I go through with the chainsaw and take the meat out, and then I'll finish it with other tools so that only where the scribe lines are is going to be touching the log below it," Nauman said. "That's the case with all of these." Like Legos, if the space between the logs isn't grooved in properly, the logs wouldn't fit or provide support.

Petersburg Borough Parks and Recreation staff member Dave Nauman responded during the last borough assembly meeting to complaints some members of the public have lodged about the length of time it's taking to build the new log shelter at Sandy Beach Park.

"It's been a privilege to work on that project, show it the respect that it deserves, and it continues to be a privilege," Nauman said. "That being said, we all know that it's gone past the date that we initially said that it would be done."

Nauman said he would take any questions assembly members had concerning the cabin.

Assembly Member Jeigh Stanton Gregor asked why the work had taken longer than anticipated.

Nauman replied that he had miscalculated the magnitude of the project and that dressing the logs took longer than expected.

"That being said, they're all dressed now and we're in the final stages of construction," Nauman said.

Although Nauman wasn't prepared to give a final end date, he roughly estimated that the structure would be ready for public use in a couple months.

"I think that's what folks want to hear," Lagoudakis said. "It's a building that people really enjoy in this community, and so they're looking forward to having that available to them again."

Nauman has been crafting the log structure since last summer after Parks and Recreation received a $40,000 state grant to rebuild it.

"This thing's going to stand there for everybody's grandkids to bring their grandkids," Nauman said. "It's going to last longer than the new fire department. It's taken a little time. It's going to be worth it on the other end."

The shelter was last worked on during the 1970s.

Nauman has crafted the logs and structure using simple hand tools such as a drawknife.

"Thank you for your efforts," Stanton Gregor said. "It is being done at a craftsman's level. I stress that word craftsmen as a person who has done construction's truly amazing to see those logs cut within a millimeter of space to fit. It's phenomenal work."

Despite the extra time taken to build the shelter, the Parks and Recreation department is still around $10,000 under budget and no request for extra borough funding is anticipated.


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