The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced work has begun on a series of transformational enhancements at Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown. The work underway includes a brand-new, $2.7-million pool bathhouse and new boat docks for the 830,000-plus visitors who frequent the popular Niagara County state park every year.
“Fort Niagara is a special destination and the projects that are underway will further enhance this popular park. We are excited to roll out these upgrades over the course of the summer, and we know that even more people will visit and enjoy Fort Niagara as a result,” State Parks Western Regional Director Mark Thomas said.
The pool bathhouse will be a modern facility that has been specially designed to reflect the historic architectural integrity of the fort. The new bathhouse will draw inspiration from Old Fort Niagara and include brick and stone masonry and a dual-pitched, shallow sloped roofline. Open entry has improved the sightlines from the bathhouse to the pool, and a colonnade with a deep roof overhang will offer shade from the sun and cover from unexpected weather. The siding and trim of the building are local materials and consist of fiber cement that improves the durability and requires less maintenance than wood, is rot-resistant and impervious to insects. The bathhouse will be fully Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, featuring accessible parking, pathways and changing facilities.
The bathhouse will feature energy-efficiencies such as natural ventilation; LED lighting that will offer a range of color temperatures for comfort; skylights that will maximize the use of daylight; and water-saving plumbing fixtures. The facility will include lifeguard facilities, women’s, men’s and family changing rooms, a ticket booth and native landscaping dressed along the exterior. The bathhouse is expected to be complete this fall.
The new boat docks are a combination of shoreline restoration and beautification, as well as the installation of 700 liner feet of ADA-accessible floating docks that will connect the north and south launches. The launch will include dedicated fishing space as well as a jet-ski launch. Additionally, the docks – the only public ones between Lewiston and Wilson – will allow boaters to stop and enjoy the park, the Old Fort historic site and the Village of Youngstown. The new boat docks are expected to be complete this summer.
Visitors are reminded construction of these improvements will continue through the summer and will require the closure of the pool this season only. Those looking to cool off at a state park in Niagara County this summer are encouraged to take the short drive and visit Beaver Island and Wilson Tuscarora state parks.
During construction, the woodland hiking trails, picnic grounds, playgrounds and soccer fields will remain open, with no change in schedule. The Fort Niagara Nature Center, offering exhibits on Great Lakes ecology, the ice age, Native Americans, geology of the region and the parks military history, will also remain open under normal operating hours.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses and boat launches. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.