2005-06-10 / Front Page

Tribute Park Bloom Starts In June

By Brian Magoolaghan

The concrete base of the Tribute Park dome has been poured.The concrete base of the Tribute Park dome has been poured.

With work at the Tribute Park site set to go full-swing in just a few days, the Department of Parks and Recreation issued its most definitive statement on the project yet.

“The dedication ceremony will take place on September 11 of this year; at that point, all components will be complete except for a fall planting,” Parks spokesperson Gina Masullo told The Wave this week.

With only about 90 days between now and Sunday, September 11, 2005, that comment promises a quick transformation of the site, located on the northern end of Beach 116 Street.

The Tribute Park site as it appeared early this week.The Tribute Park site as it appeared early this week. Jonathan Gaska, District Manager of Community Board 14, said that is exactly what is in store. “[Work] is going to happen fast and furious,” he said.

Although it is barely noticeable from Beach Channel Drive, the Tribute Park site has been mapped out according to the plot plan – a drawing of the park from the overhead point of view. String lines have been staked down and other lines are marked directly on the ground with spray paint.

The electric is installed underground, the site is graded and concrete base of the dome has already been poured.

More visible changes will take place between June 10 and June 13, and passersby will notice the large metal storage container and the firefighter tribute rock moved, said Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore.

That work will make way for Parks to step in, which will happen in the middle of this month, Lepore said.

Dan Mundy, the retired city firefighter and activist hired by the Chamber late last year to coordinate the project, was unavailable to comment for this story, Lepore said. Both Lepore and Gaska said Mundy has been largely responsible for advancing the project to this point.

Despite the progress, Lepore said hang-ups are still possible. An important structural element in the park’s dome is being custom made in Texas and has a turnaround of at least eight weeks and the hurricane season, which lasts here from June through November, could bring delays, he said.

Money, however, is not an issue, said Lepore. “The financial side of it is not a problem,” he said.

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