County Unveils New Verona Park Boathouse

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NewBoathouse1Out with the dark, in with the light: Essex County unveiled a completely renovated Verona Park boathouse this morning.

The 10-week, $433,310 project involved installing new French doors on both sides of the building, creating a new patio on the park side, installing new flooring and fixtures and painting the interior in a palette of neutrals.

The original fireplace was retained, but chances are that long-time park-goers won’t recognize it: It’s been sand-blasted back to its original tawny beige color and converted to gas. The bathrooms inside the boathouse and in the adjoining building outside were gutted and re-done. The furniture inside is a tad more corporate conference room than Friends coffee bar, but there’s lots of seating and it’s comfortable. There’s also a big screen TV over the fireplace mantel.NewBoathouse2

“We’re tremendously happy with the improvements,” said Jim McGregor, a member of the Verona Park Conservancy. “It’s going to make it better for visitors. The Conservancy is very thankful to the County for getting behind us.” The Verona Park Conservancy is a non-profit that works with the County to maintain and improve the park.

Beyond the boathouse, you might also be interested to know that there are now swan-shaped paddle boats on Verona Park Lake and an Italian ice stand at the playground, both courtesy of Aramark, which was named the food operator at the boathouse last year.NewBoathouse3

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