by Dan McClelland
One of the last elements in the completion of the Village of Tupper Lake performance park in Flanders Park was wrapped up this week by a Watertown-based landscaping firm.
The LandPro landscaping company, owned by John Moody, laid the granite paving stones in the plaza area in front of the Lions bandshell, where people will dance to performers there in coming years.
The crew of about a half dozen men also backfilled with village-provided sand and earth behind the large granite retaining walls stones. By Friday most of the sod that will top the terrace seating was in place. The crew also planted a number of new trees and grass-type shrubs on the grounds of the performing venue, next to Mill Street, and behind the bandshell, where they will help absorb some of the surface water from the sloping grade of the park.
The company owner is a cousin of Wes Moody, who owns Moody Tree Farm at Saranac Lake.
At Monday's village board meeting Mayor Paul Maroun thanked Trustee Clint Hollingsworth for the work he and his father, Tinker, did maneuvering the two-ton granite stones into place to form the seating terraces on a recent weekend. Helping too was one of Clint's employees, Doug Snyder.
He said to “align and calibrate” the semi-circular retaining walls with the village's large excavator was nothing short of impressive.
“Thank you on behalf of the entire community!” he told the trustee.
Trustee Hollingsworth chaired the overall project for the village along with Trustee Ron LaScala. Spearheading the development of the bandshell structure itself for the Tupper Lake Lions Club was Lion Tom LaMere.
Speaking about the performance park Monday night Mr. Hollingsworth admitted there had been some concerns among the volunteers on the village committee about the ability of volunteers to lay the heavy plaza stones in front of the bandshell, so the decision was made to contract out the final leg of the project.
The overall funding for the new performance area and the transformation of that section of the municipal park came from the village's multi-million dollar pool of waterfront revitalization grant money secured for the village from the state department of state in recent years by Consultant Melissa McManus
LandPro was the only North Country firm to submit a bid on the landscaping piece. It's price was about $90,000- after the village committee and the village board negotiated it down some.
“The plaza, as of Friday, was almost finished, with some fine tuning left to do on the edges,” Mr. Hollingsworth told his colleagues.
The seating terraces are now all sodded and most of the new vegetation and shrubs are in place, he added.
The company's paving stone crew should be back this week to grout between the large two foot by two foot stones with a polymer sand, which repels moisture, according to the trustee and local contractor.
He said too the stones are all with a quarter-inch of tolerance, as designed by the architect on the project, Andrew Chary
Tom LaMere still has some pieces of trim and other wood to install on the rear walls of the bandshell building and glass plates will be hung on the two sides.
“I guess it's very safe to say we're going to be enjoying performances there next summer!” said a very pleased Mr. Hollingsworth.
He took a moment too to recognize the Hazelton Lumber Co. of Wilmington for its recent donation of about $1,000 in wood materials for the bandshell. The company, which also has its own mill, donated much of the Douglas fir in the structure at its cost and charged only minimally for the milling work required. A number of other local companies have donated considerably to the project this past year including Kentile Excavating and Lemieux Construction, which did weeks of site preparation work this spring, Mitchell Stone Products with a major donation of gravel, John Gullen Fine Carpentry, Hyde Fuel and others.
The Tupper Lake Lions Club raised over $40,000 towards the cost of the bandshell, with donations coming from club activities and from hundreds of local supporters.
Mr. Hollingsworth called the building of the new performance venue “an amazing collaborative project and humongous community effort.”