LAKE GEORGE — Nearly 10 years after leaders in the Lake George area began planning to create a new park at the south end of the lake, construction at Charles R. Wood Park is finally wrapping up.
The park’s new water feature is waiting for a final epoxy sealing of concrete before it is officially complete, and that last piece of work will mark the completion of the grounds, project Manager Bill Lamy said Monday.
The water feature was initially designed to include a child’s “sprayground” water play area, but it was scaled back to a fountain and small pool because of budget constrains.
Located at the site of the former Gaslight Village Amusement Park, Charles Wood Park is now home to festival grounds for events, a walking trail, skate park, children’s play area, water feature, public bathrooms and Wi-Fi. Across West Brook Road is a man-made wetland designed to filter stormwater before it gets to the lake, and the site includes a walking trail and signs.
The festival space in the center of the park is where events are held, and Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said the completion of construction comes as the park continues to gain momentum and bring in more events. A new portable stage has helped, as it defrays costs for bands and musical events that would otherwise have to pay to bring in a stage.
All of the events scheduled for this year plan to return, with a couple of new ones in the planning stage for the winter and next summer, he said
The park continues to be popular with promoters in the spring and fall, and a few winter events are planned for later this year and early next year as well. But the summer months have been less attractive, as organizers find attendance suffers because of the multitude of summer hobbies and activities.
“It’s July and August we are having problems with, competing with everything else,” he said.
He said there is a group looking at creation of a “summer festival” on the grounds for unspecified dates next summer, though. And Blais said he is negotiating with a circus that is interested in the spot.
Members of the committee that oversees the park on Monday praised Blais for his work in promoting it.
“It’s growing and it’s a good tribute to you and the community,” Lake Luzerne Supervisor Gene Merlino, chairman of the county board’s Tourism Committee, said in praising Blais.
The two phases of the West Brook Road project were expected to cost about $12.5 million in all, with most of the tab paid through grant funding.