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PHOTOS: "Topping Off" Ceremony for Prospect Park's New Skating Rink

Park officials and local pols toasted major benchmark in construction of park's $74 million Lakeside Center.

About 75 park and area officials drank a non-alcoholic toast to mark a major milestone in construction of Prospect Park’s new skating rink.

The benchmark, known as “topping off,” marked completion of the structure for the rink’s canopy, which, at 28 feet, will be the project’s highest point.

At the event, officials were invited to sign a beam that will become a permanent part of the structure and to tour the 26-acre building site, which also includes major changes to the lake and the area around it.

Called Lakeside Center, the $74 million mega-project includes two skating rinks in the winter and a roller-skating rink and a “water play” area with sprinklers and a wading/reflecting pool in the summer.

The project also includes a new indoor-outdoor building with educational and recreational space as well as public restrooms and restoration of the original Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux landscape design for the lake, which will be expanded by 5 acres with a “music island” in the center. The island will be used as a stage for performers, with the surrounding shoreline set up for concert-goers to sit on blankets and beach chairs.

There will also be a new boat dock, 1500-foot lakeshore promenade for joggers and walkers, 15,000-square-feet of viewing terraces, and expanded picnic areas, walkways and open lawns.

The project is slated to open next year.

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