LAKE PLACID - Work on a new band shell for Mid's Park is expected to start soon, but more money needs to be raised before the project can finish.
It is expected to cost a total of $328,400, and $60,000 still needs to be raised.
Bill Billerman is working with Niki Politi and Jamie Rogers to raise the money. The committee committed to raise a third of the funds, while the village and the Mildred A. Uihlein Foundation agreed to contribute a third each. So $270,000 is already in the pot for the project.
Courtesy of the Paul White Memorial Bandshell Fundraising Committee
This rendering of the proposed band shell was done by architect Andrew Chary.
"As you can see, we are so close to our goal with just $60,000 left to raise," reads a fundraising letter from the committee.
Billerman told the Enterprise in a Wednesday phone interview that if his committee raises $40,000 for the band shell, the Uihlein Foundation will match half of it by contributing the final $20,000.
Billerman said the Uihlein Foundation has already helped with significant renovations to Mid's Park, which began in 2005. The new band shell is the second phase of the park's rejuvenation.
"They've really stepped up to the plate as far as putting money into the park and putting money into the band shell," Billerman said.
The current band shell was built in 1977. Billerman said that in 2006 when he helped start the Songs at Mirror Lake series, a weekly concert series held throughout the summer in the band shell, his group started to notice how badly the shell is deteriorating.
"It is structurally getting more and more deficient every year," Billerman said.
Its frame and foundation are wearing out, the roof leaks - the Songs at Mirror Lake crew had to put a tarp over it while getting ready for Rusted Root, their most popular concert this summer - there's not enough weather coverage, it's not accessible to people with handicaps, and it's too small for the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, which plays several shows there each year.
So Billerman started working with Rogers, who was mayor of the village at the time, on getting a new one designed. They got a variance application approved by the state Adirondack Park Agency, and Andrew Chary and Ivan Zdrahal have completed architectural and site designs for the project, mostly pro bono.
"The permit's in place, everything's ready, we just need to finish off fundraising so we can get it completed," Billerman said.
The village board at a meeting last week awarded a bid to construct the band shell to Murnane Associates, a Plattsburgh-based company.
"They're still working on fundraising, but the board recognized if this project were going to be done, it absolutely needs to start this season," village Mayor Craig Randall told the Enterprise.
He said work is expected to start after Labor Day so the band shell can be ready to go June 1, 2014, in time for the next summer season of concerts.
This summer's Songs at Mirror Lake concert series was popular, with organizers estimating average attendance around 500 to 600 and somewhere around 1,200 for Rusted Root.
"It was our most successful and best-attended series so far," Billerman said.
Billerman said he believes people appreciated what the group is doing, and he hopes the community will keep that in mind and donate to the project.
To make a tax-deductible donation, go to www.generousact.org/donate, click on "add fund/any special instructions," and type in "Bandshell Park Fund." Checks can be mailed to Paul White Memorial Bandshell Fund, c/o Adirondack Community Trust, P.O. Box 288, Lake Placid, NY 12946.
Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or jcollier@