Rotarians and Shelton officials celebrated the completion of a project Tuesday morning that was years in the making. The 3,800-square foot Derby-Shelton Rotary Pavilion near the Riverwalk was dedicated this week to the memory of state Rep. Richard O. Belden, who was instrumental in getting state approval to turn the former Sponge Rubber Products property into the public park known today as The Slab. Mayor Mark Lauretti said that about 20 years ago the spot where the pavilion now stands looked like a \u201cwar zone\u201d and it was hard to see the vision for what now stands today. \u201cWe continue to take one step at a time,\u201d Lauretti said. Building the Pavilion on the Shelton Riverfront is a cooperative effort of the Rotary Club, the City of Shelton, private donors and supporters. The structure was designed by James Tate of Tate & Associates. The Rotary Club has been working on moving the project forward since 2008. It took a lot of work by the city and past club presidents, Linda Holmes-Hannon, David Grant, Diane Stroman and Shawn Fields, according to current president Mary Ellen Samatulski. \u201cIt will be a destination where we can all meet, learn and have fun together,\u201d Samatulski said. The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club gave Mayor Lauretti and Jim Ryan of the Shelton Economic Development Corporation Paul Harris Fellow awards, for their help in moving the project forward. \u201cThis is a landmark space for Shelton,\u201d Ryan said. \u201cThis is just to die for \u2014 the hairs should be standing up on the back of your neck.\u201d The first community event to be held at the Pavilion is an Oktoberfest party scheduled for Sept. 16. Lauretti said projects like the Pavilion will yield big dividends for the city in years to come. \u201cThe die is cast. There is nowhere to go but up for this area of the community,\u201d Lauretti said.