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Jul 4, 2016 12:53 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Says Work On Good Ground Park Is Ahead Of Schedule; Facility Could Open This Fall

Work on Good Ground Park is months ahead of schedule and could open by the fall.  DANA SHAW
Jul 4, 2016 3:18 PM

Work on Good Ground Park, a recreational facility that will feature walking trails, shops and an amphitheater—all situated on 36 acres in downtown Hampton Bays—is months ahead of schedule, with Southampton Town officials now estimating that it could open by fall.

Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Zappone said this week that he expects the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $4 million park, which has been in the works in the hamlet for more than a decade, to be scheduled for mid-October, explaining that construction crews have been making considerable progress in recent weeks. Earlier this year, town officials said they wanted to have the park finished before the start of next summer.

“We’re making excellent and steady progress,” said Mr. Zappone, adding that the mid-October opening is tentative at this point. “Our amphitheater is very much recognizable.”

He explained that the seating for the amphitheater, which will be able to accommodate up to 800 people at once for shows, has already been installed, as has much of the nearby landscaping. Located on the southernmost portion of the park, the finished amphitheater will boast both stone and informal hillside seating that will encircle an elevated stage. The area will also include a spacious lawn allowing visitors to sit on blankets and chairs.

Sidewalks have already been poured, and the trees for the park’s main road—which is accessible only from Squiretown Road—have already been cleared and the ground leveled. Mr. Zappone expects the asphalt for the new road, which will cut through the park and feature an assortment of shops and approximately 100 diagonal parking spots, to be put down later this month. The street runs parallel and just north of West Montauk Highway.

Once the asphalt is poured, street lamps will be installed as will landscaping that will separate the two lanes of traffic along the road. If all continues to go as scheduled, the benches and water fountains will be installed in August, according to Mr. Zappone.

Christine Fetten, the town’s director of municipal works, said that she expects the bulk of the work to wrap up before Labor Day weekend. She added that, like Mr. Zappone, she is excited that work on Good Ground Park is close to wrapping up, pointing to new amphitheater stage and freshly poured sidewalks while walking along the unfinished road that cuts through the property.

Plans for the park date back more than a decade. In 2003, Southampton Town purchased the land using $3.5 million from its Community Preservation Fund. Since that time, officials have earmarked another $4 million, a combination of state and town funding, to actually construct the facility. The town set aside $1.9 million in capital funding for the project on top of $943,000 in grants it secured from the State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, as well as the Empire State Development office. Then, in November, the final $1 million needed to put the plans in motion was secured by State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. and Senator Kenneth LaValle.

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$4 million will surely leave a lot to be desired in this day and age
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Jul 4, 16 8:02 PM
I still scratch my head about this whole endeavor. It's bizarre. We can't fill the store fronts on main st.
Hampton Bays (which I love) is in complete decline, property values down taxes going up school district spread so thin it is a marvel it hasn't imploded yet and we're building an amphi theater?
Reminds if the pretty park Riverhead built by the river, I wouldn't walk through there in daylight.
Nobody goes to Brentwood for vacation, even if it had an amphitheater.
By jams (129), hampton bays on Jul 5, 16 3:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
There is NO reason to be afraid to walk in Grangebel Park. It is well patrolled and there are plenty of people around.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 5, 16 9:07 PM
Couldn't agree more, jams. I can't wait to see what happens after the ribbon cutting and the political photo ops. Does the Town have a plan to keep this Park viable or is it going to be a social nightmare and a complete waste of taxpayer funds?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jul 5, 16 8:27 PM
1 member liked this comment