2005-09-02 / Front Page

Tribute Park Dedication An October Affair

Tribute Park will be nearly ready to open on September 11 and will likely be dedicated in the latter half of October, but a key element could be unfinished, according to sources close to the project.

Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore told The Wave Thursday that the park will be “ready for delivery on or about September 11” but, after consulting victims’ families and officials, the dedication will not take place until after that date.

Jonathan Gaska, Community Board 14 District Manager, said weekend dates in mid-to-late October were being considered, and that it’s possible the stained glass dome will not be completed at that time.

While Project Manager Dan Mundy has made major achievements in advancing the park, a work schedule for Patrick Clark – as well as the issue of a cost overrun – is still being negotiated.

Clark, who is contracted to complete several major elements, including the dome that is still considered the park’s crowning jewel despite tinkering by the City Arts Commission, told The Wave that he is not working towards a September 11 completion date and guessed that he would be done with installation work (most of the fabrication has already taken place at his workshop) in the middle of October.

A special meeting was held Thursday at Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer’s office so that key project members could discuss a work schedule and cost overrun with Clark. One source close to the project suggested Clark was dragging his feet over money, but Clark denied that charge.

“The artwork is the icing on the cake and it needs to go in when the park is done,” Clark said. “We should have a gate we can lock [at night] before the art goes in,” he added before pointing out, “The park isn’t finished yet, but it’s almost there.”

The Wave spoke with Pheffer, Gaksa, Clark and Lepore, who individually described the meeting as productive. In fact, each of The Wave’s sources expressed excitement over the recent progress at the park site and expressed the desire to keep the project moving forward.

Lepore, who has butted heads with Clark in the past, defended Clark by saying his work “is hard to produce on a schedule.”

The park committee is considering approval on Clark’s cost overrun, the dollar amount of which was not disclosed. He is set to begin installation work in the park on Tuesday, September 6.

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