SCOPED Press Release Clute Park Ground Breaking 8020

Immediate Release

Watkins Glen DRI Project Breaks Ground
Clute Park $5 million Improvements to Foster Year-Round Use

Watkins Glen, NY – The Village of Watkins Glen held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Tuesday,
celebrating the start of construction on the Clute Park redevelopment project. This project, on
the drawing board since 2010, was the leading public project for Watkins Glen during the New
York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) public forums. Village of Watkins Glen
Mayor, Luke Leszyk, said,” This project will take our already beautiful park, enjoyed by
thousands every summer, and enhance it into a park that can be enjoyed year-round by locals
and visitors alike”. The redevelopment and year-round activation of Clute Park is one of several
key initiatives along the waterfront spear-headed by Project Seneca, a privately-funded regional
initiative.

The project, valued at $5 million is funded by several grants from New York State including
those from Department of State, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, Department of State
DRI, and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Laurie DeNardo, Village
Trustee and DRI Co-Chair, commented, “I’m thrilled at the long-term investment from New York
State as we embark on the improvements to Clute Park. This plan retains the parks unique
character, provides year-round family-oriented enjoyment, and evolved from our community
for our community for years to come.”

The project includes a new year-round pavilion, bathhouse, outside showers, seasonal splash
pad and seasonal ice rink. New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said,
“Parks and public spaces add to the vibrancy of our downtowns and the new Clute Park will
provide year-round, flexible and accessible public gathering spaces for residents and
visitors. Now, more than ever, we see the valuable role that parks and public spaces play in
overcoming social isolation and bringing people together in a safe and healthy manner. I
am proud that the Department of State is able to play a key role in transforming Clute
Park through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the Environmental Protection
Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.”

Schuyler County Administrator, Tim O’Hearn added, “As the gateway to the Finger Lakes, the
Village of Watkins Glen attracts over 3 million visitors per year. This latest initiative, which is
almost entirely funded through New York State, will further our reputation as a world class
destination while providing year-round recreational opportunities for our residents and visitors.
This project is the cornerstone of the transformational aspirations of Watkins Glen and Schuyler
County, and will weigh heavily in the success of these efforts. It is truly an exciting time for our
community”

“This project will continue to enhance the Village of Watkins Glen and increase its’ reputation
as vibrant community”, said Fred Bonn, Regional Director, Finger Lakes State Parks. Our
agency’s support of the new and improved recreational amenities makes for a wonderful
complement to Watkins Glen State Park and the improvements made to it over the last few
years.”

The design and engineering was completed by Stantec; and Welliver is the general contractor.
The construction is expected to be completed in June 2021.

The ceremony, following social distancing guidelines and mass gather rules, had 35 in
attendance.

For more information, please contact Judy McKinney Cherry 607-535-6862.

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