The Great Neck Park District commissioners are looking at ways to build their new offices while preserving the natural landscaping around the area.
The commissioners and residents expressed their concerns in December about possibly having to cut down cherry trees around the building to accommodate a larger parking lot.
Vincent Cangelosi, principal architect for the project, showed the commissioners three alternate construction plans at their Tuesday work session, which would allow for some of the trees to be saved.
One design would save the three main cherry trees while removing some other trees. It would also move the entire building closer to Beach Road, Cangelosi said.
“Actually by having the opportunity to do this we made a better overall site plan,” he said of revisiting the plans.
Cangelosi said this plan could have an area for overflow parking that would supplement the parking lot, such as a small grass area that can accommodate cars when needed.
Another option would be to not have an access road off of Beach Road.
Cangelosi said this plan allow less paved surface and more green area.
A third alternative would be to build the new office where the current one is located, Cangelosi said.
“We could plant some new trees now, so when these trees die there will be some new ones,” board Chairman Bob Lincoln said.
The commissioners said Cangelosi will come to an official meeting of the board to present the new ideas. No action was taken on the drafts.
Cangelosi first came before the board in December to present initial renderings of the new park district office, which will be located still at 5 Beach Road. He said in December the building will be mostly made out of composite cement and wood fiber, and will have more of a residential feel.
He also said the new building will have more room to reduce the crowded working conditions. Cangelosi and his team at CDA Architects in New York City are about 80 percent finished with the inside design of the building, Cangelosi said Tuesday.
He said in December the scope of construction will be similar to a new house with at least a couple of weeks in which heavy equipment is used.
In other business, Lincoln said the district is working with the Great Neck Historical Society, the Town of North Hempstead and the Village of Kings Point to pull together a triathlon to raise funds for the Stepping Stones Lighthouse.
“What [the town] has done is reached out to the Village of Kings Point to see if they are willing to participate,” Lincoln said. “It will be an expense to the village and us.”
Lincoln said the town is scheduled to have a meeting with Village of Kings Point Mayor Michael Kalnick about the triathlon. Lincoln said with corporate sponsors the event could raise a significant sum of money.
The park district and the town agreed in September to enter into an inter-municipal agreement to raise fund to restore the lighthouse. The lighthouse, which was built in 1877, has been in disrepair for years.
Efforts to raise funds to repair the lighthouse started in August when the parks district and historical society teamed up with the Town of North Hempstead to repair the structure, after years of neglect have left it in need of $4 million in repairs.
The National Park Service in 2012 threatened to take ownership of the lighthouse away from the town, which was awarded stewardship of the structure in 2008 under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, after repairs to the structure went undone.
Lincoln did say that the proposed date of the triathlon – Aug. 9 – would conflict with the district’s fishing derby. Lincoln said the triathlon would need to occur at this time because high tide is necessary.
Lincoln said the district could possibly change the date of the derby.
The Great Neck Park District includes all Great Neck villages and unincorporated areas with the exception of Great Neck Estates, Harbor Hills, Lake Success, Saddle Rock and University Gardens.