A tour of Prospect Park’s Lakeside Center skating facility

Angel of Death, WWI memorial.

Angel of Death, WWI memorial.

Click here for part two of this post – a tour of the waterfront!

After Prospect Park Track Club‘s annual picnic on Saturday, a few members got a sneak peek at the Prospect Park Lakeside project. The new facility is slated to open in December, and for the most part, has hidden behind a series of chain-link fences and barricades.

Christian Zimmerman, who has been spearheading this endeavor since 1997, gave us the tour. It’s clear he and his team put a lot of thought into the various features. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch everything he said – the curse of occasionally lagging behind to take photos!

One of the coolest aspects will be hidden on first glance: the two buildings are sunk into the ground, and each roof will be covered with trees and shrubs. There will be five ways to get up top, all with a grade of 5% or less to comply with ADA regulations.

Prospect Park Lakeside - 008

Zimmerman on the roof of the main building. The item on the ground to his right is an irrigation unit, which will lie below the soil.

The facility will house two skating areas: a hockey rink (185′ x 85′, 15 feet shorter than a professional rink) and an elliptical rink. The latter will have 16 fountains for cooling off in the summer, like the popular spot in Highland Park.

The two rinks. The elliptical rink, in the back, will double as a spot for water-play in the warmer months.

The two rinks. The elliptical rink, in the back, will double as a spot for water-play in the warmer months.

The effects of the recent rainy weather were apparent; we had to hop over and walk around many wet areas. One person expressed surprise that construction wasn’t happening over the weekend. Zimmerman explained that EDC contracts typically exclude this, but that he is waiting on approval to add overtime shifts. “No one is against it,” he explained.

Not everyone was disappointed by the puddles that dotted the landscape!

Not everyone was disappointed by the puddles that dotted the landscape!

The larger building will house a café, party area, and restrooms. The second building will offer lockers, skate rentals, and more restrooms. Part of it will not be conditioned, extending the cold weather indoors.

Walking through the future skate-rental shop. The metal frame will separate the heated area from the "natural" environment.

Walking through the future skate-rental shop. The metal frame will separate the heated area from the “natural” environment.

One change from the previous rink is is that entry to the facility will be completely free “until you touch the ice,” as Zimmerman put it. Access to the rink will probably be by wristbands or ski-style passes. I’m unfamiliar with the previous layout, but a few of the other participants noted that you couldn’t even watch others skating – or get to the café – without paying.

View from the roof of the rental building. Behind the rink is Prospect Park Lake and a World War I memorial.

View from the roof of the rental building. Behind the rink is Prospect Park Lake and a World War I memorial.

A bridge will connect the two roofs. We didn’t notice the location until Zimmerman pointed it out to us. (It’s prominently featured in the architectural rendering on the Lakeside page.)

Zimmerman stands in front of the site of the future bridge.

Zimmerman stands in front of the site of the future bridge.

Perhaps of greatest interest to us, as runners and walkers, is the network of routes that will criss-cross the entire Lakeside area. This curve will someday be a path from the lake to the roof of the rental building.

Prospect Park Lakeside - 050

Zimmerman then took us along the Lakeside waterfront, which is much closer to completion. I’ll recap that tour tomorrow.

Thanks to PPTC President Tom Meany for setting this up! Click any photo below to enter the slideshow.

This entry was posted in Visit recaps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A tour of Prospect Park’s Lakeside Center skating facility

  1. Janet says:

    Trails, sure, but I especially like that the restrooms will be available to us even during skating season.

  2. Tom Meany says:

    Great job Keith. You captured the essence of the project in picture and word.
    I”m hoping we may be able to use it for the Turkey Trot packet pick up?
    Thank you

  3. Pingback: Good times all around at the PPTC picnic - Prospect Park Track Club

Leave a Reply