A new shelter is ready for picnickers to enjoy at Lakeside Lions Park in Spring Lake Park.
It replaces the shelter that collapsed when heavy winds raced through the metro area in the spring of 2011.
The new shelter is slightly different from the old one: It is a little larger and it is lower to the ground, which will make it more stable in heavy winds, according to Marian Rygwall, director of the Spring Lake Park Recreation Department.
A cement foundation meets the sidewalk so that the new shelter is more accessible for those with handicaps.
The grill was rebuilt farther toward the lake so that smoke wouldn’t disrupt picnickers in the shelter as much.
Collecting insurance and unusual weather this spring delayed the process of rebuilding the shelter, although planning for the structure began in 2011.
“We were on it right away,” Rygwall said.
Spring Lake Park Public Works finished building the structure in September 2012 and planned to pour cement this spring, but an unusually long winter kept the ground saturated and delayed the process, according to Rygwall. “The weather wasn’t cooperating as well as we had planned,” she said.
Terry Randall, director of public works for Spring Lake Park, said that throughout the summer, workers poured concrete when they had the opportunity to do so, a little at a time.
Randall and crew had the entire project finished by late August.
The project cost $30,000, which was covered by insurance, Rygwall said.
Family reunions, office parties, graduations and other events are commonplace at the Lakeside Lions Park shelter, especially in the summer, Rygwall said. It even housed a wedding reception once.
Spring Lake Park maintains Lakeside Lions Park, while Mounds View manages the scheduling and accounting. To reserve the shelter for an event, call 763-717-4040.
Olivia Koester is at [email protected]