By Natalie O’Neill
Park boosters “topped off” a new recreational and educational facility at Prospect Park, trumpeting the completion of the building’s frame as a milestone for one of the park’s biggest projects ever.
The indoor-outdoor building — to which JPMorgan Chase just pledged $1.6 million — is part of the park’s massive Lakeside Center project, which includes two skating rinks and lakeshore restoration.
Park supporters and elected officials toasted the achievement at an outdoor ceremony last Wednesday, calling the not-yet-complete two-story, hotel-sized building a symbol that the Lakeside Center is bound for success.
“This project is a truly a historic transformation of this park,” said Emily Lloyd, president of Prospect Park Alliance.
Lakeside Center — a $74-million, 26-acre project, whose budget ballooned two years ago from a projected $50 million — is now 85 percent done and on track to open next winter.
When it does, chilly skaters will be able to warm up in the multi-donor funded “green” building, which will feature a “Chase Café,” one of four bank-branded facilities in the center.
“[We] are proud to help build this environmentally friendly facility that New Yorkers can enjoy during all four seasons,” said Kimberly Davis of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
At the ceremony, Borough President Markowitz, who allocated millions for the project, and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe — who called Prospect Park “the greatest park in the world” — signed a white beam that will become part of the structure.
“Souls (soon to be) on ice,” Benepe wrote in Sharpie.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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