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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.