Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Town employees have braved the cold and the snow over the past few weeks to start building a new facility for the Brighton golf range after the old one burned down in September.
“These guys are gusty. The wind comes right across the park here, and it’s freezing,” Director of Youth, Parks and Recreation Jeff Ehlers said.
The crew, which built the new Lincoln Park pavilion last year, has been out at Brompton Road everyday, despite wind chills below zero and consistent snowfall — and they don’t plan on taking a break this winter.
“Everyday, we had to shovel snow just to find the site. But we have a good crew, and spirits are high,” the crew’s leader, Dan Hudson said on Thursday. “The building projects are fun, and we look forward to them. We live in the town, and our family, friends and neighbors are going to be coming through here.”
Although wind was still blowing across the field on Thursday, Hudson said the team was welcoming the warmer weather as temperatures reached the 40s.
“We’re having a heat wave today,” he joked. “We are thinking about wearing our shorts tomorrow.”
Workers finished building the walls this week and installed the house wrap Thursday. Landscaping work at the site began in October, and the project is set to be complete by April 1 — the date the range usually opens, weather permitting. The new facility is located between the golf dome and the driving range, and will also service the town’s batting cages.
“The location will allow us to cut our staff in half and save money,” Director of Youth, Parks and Recreation Jeff Ehlers said.
The new structure is considerably bigger than the old building at 1,500 square feet, and will cost about $100,000. The insurance deductible amounts to about the same cost, so anything over that figure will be covered.
The town plans on purchasing all the materials before the end of the year so the project won’t impact next year’s budget.
The old structure, which was 23 years old, was completely destroyed in the Sept. 23 blaze. Although the old building was designed by an architect, town officials said it wasn’t a practical setup for its purpose.
“The building will have a patio, with tables and chairs,” Supervisor of Parks Maintenance Rich Ford said. “It’s a lot more functional, and the bathrooms are in a better location, right across from the baseball diamonds.”
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.