LAKE PLACID - Music will soon return to Mid's Park, but construction work was the only sound coming from there this week.
Workers used a crane to assemble the new Paul White Memorial band shell Thursday, May 1. Around four years in the making, the mostly volunteer-led effort is in its final phase, with nearly all of the money raised to complete the project. It's expected to be finished by June 1, just in time for summer concerts.
The new band shell is taller, larger and more weather protected. It has also been moved farther toward the Mirror Lake shoreline.
The Mid’s Park band shell in Lake Placid, seen here from Main Street, is being held up by a crane as workers assemble the pre-fabricated structure. (Photo — Matthew Turner)
Bill Billerman, a member of the fundraising committee said $15,000 is still needed to complete the project.
"We still have to finish off some of the storage area and extra electrical," Billerman said. "There are still some components that will not be finished in time unless we get the funding."
Niki Politi and former Lake Placid Mayor Jamie Rogers also comprise the Lake Placid Bandshell Fundraising Committee.
"I just think this community is so fortunate that people had vision to work on this park and get this project completed," Rogers said. "It's really turning into the centerpiece. Now we really have a really cultural beauty in the center of our town."
Murnane Associates, a Plattsburgh-based company, is tasked with constructing the band shell. The structure was prefabricated by Vermont Timber Works. Local architect Andrew Chary designed the band shell, and village engineer Ivan Zdrahal drew up the site design.
Funding came from several sources. The Uihlein Foundation and the village of Lake Placid committed to give a third each of the $330,000 project.
"The Uihlein Foundation have been instrumental," Rogers said. "They've always been, in helping with Mid's Park, too."
The Uihlein Foundation also gave around $500,000 for an overhaul of the park back when Rogers was mayor, but the village could not afford to fund a new band shell at that time.
Currently, the campaign has raised $94,000. Donations are being accepted by the Adirondack Foundation.
"We've had quite a few generous donors: NBT Bank, town of North Elba, William Berkeley and Larry Master family," Billerman said. "I don't have a list in front of me, but they just pop out, just to list a few."
Deputy Mayor Art Devlin said the project has been a "great win-win" for both the village and community.
The former band shell was built in 1977. It was named after Paul White, the conductor of the orchestra at the Lake Placid Club. Arthur Wareham, a Saranac Lake architect, designed the original structure.
Billerman is also the chair of the Songs at Mirror Lake summer concert series at the band shell and park.
"We did notice how the existing band shell was deteriorating," he said. "It did not function as well for us or the Lake Placid Sinfonietta."
Deborah Fitts, executive director of Lake Placid Sinfonietta, said the old band shell was great until its condition began to worsen.
Donations to the band shell can be made via the Adirondack Foundation at www.generousact.org/funds/bandshell-park-fund, or by mail to P.O. Box 288, 302 Bear Cub Lane, Lake Placid, NY 12946.