Stitching together a new pavilion at Belle Meade

The April windstorm that caused considerable damage in Rappahannock County tore the roof off of the pavilion at Belle Meade School south of Sperryville. A group of friends, led by Mike Millan, completely rebuilt the structure — 6×6 posts concreted 3 feet in the ground, to a hipped truss framing system, to a metal roof. “We took extra care in securing the parts in the hope of avoiding a similar disaster,” noted Millan. “My journeyman carpenter days are over, but I can still tell my crew of two what to do. I say two, but farmer Mike Biniek (seen at left) is a workhorse and Kim Burgers (right), challenged by the novelty of the project, worked like two tireless men.

They weren’t carpenters, but they both are skilled with their hands. Mike, Kim and I battled the clock to finish the pavilion before summer camp opened.” Tristan Sonnett helped with the final installation of the roof, and it was a good thing he was there: “Kim got a serious cut, but instead of going to the emergency room, he instructed Tristan how to sew him up. It required 3 big stitches. Kim continued his unconventional approach to medicine and got his dentist to remove the stitches.”

About Staff/Contributed 5432 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.