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Pols hail new Prospect Park skating area

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An embattled skating rink plan in Prospect Park took its first real step forward in years on Wednesday, as park officials broke ground on a $70-million mega-project to add blade-bourne activities and restore a more natural lakefront.

Local pols wielded ceremonial shovels to mark the good news that the Prospect Park Alliance had secured $54 million of the total budget for the project, which includes two skating centers to replace the aging Wollman Rink and rehabilitate part of the shoreline.

“The old meets the new as the Prospect Park Lakeside’s historic landscape gets restored with improved access and state of the art, green amenities,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

It hasn’t always been such good news for this project, whose amenities had to be scaled back last year when its original $50-million budget skyrocketed to $75 million. That killed the rooftop recreation and scenic overview, but cut the budget to the current $70 million.

Mayor Bloomberg and a handful of city agencies have since rallied around the rink and donated millions, touting the plan as the best thing to happen to Prospect Park since the paddleboats. It didn’t hurt that philanthropist Shelby White tossed in $10 million in 2008.

But even though all the money hasn’t been lined up, Alliance spokesman Eugene Patron said it was the perfect time to for a groundbreaking ceremony.

“We’re confident that the rest of the money will be coming in,” he said. “We have great momentum here.”

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

J from Brooklyn says:
What are they doing with those shovels? Burying the geese?
Dec. 16, 2010, 9:47 am
BrooklynBill from Park Slope says:
or perhaps digging them up after realizing what a mistake it was to gas them in the first place?
Dec. 16, 2010, 12:35 pm
Joe Nardiello from Carroll Gardens says:
With the proposed design looking quite similar to Central Park's Wollman rink anyway -- why not reach out to Donald Trump (who saved us from Manhattan's bureaucrats)? How long must this be closed-off, when $10 million was donated by a private donor in 2008? I would imagine Mr. Trump's group may be able to get this done - and far below the inflated "Lakeside Center" estimates, which has gone up nearly 50% (from 50 to 70 million) how, again?
Dec. 16, 2010, 1:30 pm
Moshe aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
Save the geese
Dec. 16, 2010, 4:02 pm
Resident from of PPW says:
Probably building more bike lanes
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:59 am
John from Park Slope says:
Prospect Park is in disrepair and politicians close their eyes to promote a 75 million dollar drain on resources.
Tupper Thomas and her ignorance, or is it arrogance, shows the city why Prospect Park is falling apart. Stone by stone, brick by brick, bench by bench, fountain by fountain, overpass by overpass and on and on.
The head of the Prospect Park Alliance is leaving the park's infrastructure in a shambles.
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:15 pm
Chris from Windsor Terrace says:
The residents around Prospect Park can now officially address Tupper Thomas as Mismanagement.

You have left those who remain to suffer your inability to connect with the life's blood of Prospect Park.
Shame on you and your underlings for being unable to grasp a simple truth.
Dec. 17, 2010, 1:01 pm
Liz from PPSW says:
Have no fear.

I've heard that the grand opening celebration of the ice rink will be in July!

Bring your swim suits!
Dec. 18, 2010, 8:06 am

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