Akwesasne Contractor Completes Improvements at Generations Park
Jul 29, 2016
Akwesasne, NY - The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe continues to invest in health and recreational opportunities for Akwesasne community members. The most recent community investment took place at Generations Park with the installation of ceiling lights and an audio system at the Travis Solomon Memorial Lacrosse Box by Slick Electric, a Mohawk-owned company operated by professional electrician Richard Oakes.
“We are proud to have completed this work for the community,” stated Slick Electric-owner Richard Oakes, IBEW Local Union 910 (Watertown). “I am thankful that the Tribe gave me the opportunity to showcase my training and abilities. I also thank the Office of Economic Development and the Revolving Loan Fund Committee for approving my application for a $30,000 bridge loan, so that I could financially handle a project of this size. I am a small business and this assistance made the difference for me and allows me to showcase what I can do for future customers,” noted Oakes.
Earlier this year, Slick Electric submitted the winning proposal for a $59,000 design and installation contract from the Tribe to complete upgrades at Generations Park. The contract entailed the installation of 24 LED light units to illuminate the playing area—enabling community members to enjoy the facility into the evening hours. Along with the lights, Slick Electric also installed a speaker system, electrical outlets and junction boxes for future improvements at the lacrosse box, such as scoreboards and shot clocks.
As an added enhancement to the ceiling lights, Slick Electric has installed dimmers for the amount of light to be controlled for particular events; like future rock-n-skate and possible theatrical performances. A timer has also been installed that turns the multi-purpose lights on every day during the summer from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but adult groups may use the facility after 9:30 p.m. by making reservations with the Generations Park Recreation Coordinator.
Future improvements to the lacrosse box will include the sale of dasher board advertisements from local and regional businesses to promote their business services and products. It is hoped that the revenue generated from selling year-round advertisement space will help pay for the electrical bill, as well as continue to make future improvements; such as the closure of the gable ends and installing bird netting and wind guards along the exterior columns.
The response from community organizations and athletic clubs to utilize the lacrosse box has exceeded expectations, which makes this highly-used facility an ideal location to advertise. According to our Park Recreation Coordinator Mary Terrance, “The lacrosse box has been in daily use since it was completed. Over the winter, ice was put in for skating. The Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talkers event was held here and events, such as Wellness Day, took place this summer. It’s a great multi-purpose facility”
The Tribe is proud to use local companies and workers for all the work that has been undertaken to construct and improve Generations Park. What first began as a tribal project in 2013 has quickly turned into a community initiative aimed at improving the health of our people by providing a space for recreational activities and social gatherings. From the Tribe’s Construction and Maintenance staff in prepping the site for the concrete footers and installing the dasher boards to the Strong Roots Foundation, Iron Workers Local 440 and the Tribal Council for the purchase and installation of the steel structure and roof panels.
The total construction cost for the Travis Solomon Memorial Lacrosse Box was $438,000 paid through various contributions. The Strong Roots Foundation contributed approximately $240,000 and the Tribal Council appropriated funds from the Room Occupancy Fee from both the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort and the Comfort Inn to pay for the steel and roof panels, while Local 440 donated the much-needed and experienced labor for their installation. The collaboration and completion of the most-recent improvements has contributed to an estimated value of $730,000 for the community recreation facility.
“The development of the lacrosse box and the rest of the park would not have been possible without the generous donation of land to the Tribe years ago by the Late-Margaret Terrance,” stated the Tribe’s Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro. He added, “She asked the Tribe to use the land for the children and for the community and we are proud to fulfill that mandate; with each additional improvement, we are honoring her vision and working towards building a better future for Akwesasne.”
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council also intends on re-naming the Business Park Road, where Generations Park is located, to the Margaret Terrance Memorial Road in the near future to further honor her memory and contribution to the Akwesasne community.
Barreiro expressed appreciation to Slick Electric in saying, “Richard did a great job in communicating with myself and other staff throughout the project to make sure all issues were resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. We are proud to have given him an opportunity to showcase his skills and love of our community.”
Community members and groups wishing to reserve time at the Travis Solomon Memorial Lacrosse Box can contact the Generations Park Recreation Coordinator at (518) 358-9009.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.