The Shikellamy State Park is in the midst of numerous transitions as the longstanding marina building at the convergence of the North and West branches of the Susquehanna River is stripped down and the park conducts a search for a new manager.
The marina building is in the midst of a $288,460 "partial demolition" with the goal of removing damaged and deteriorating infrastructure with the hopes a stable foundation can be salvaged and the building can be redone and reach the potential it held when first erected.
The building was originally dedicated in 1972 as the Basse A. Beck educational center just two weeks before Hurricane Agnes caused substantial flooding and damage throughout the region. The building has been closed to the public for nearly two decades after a restaurant and bar located in the 10,000-square-foot facility closed in 2002.
According to an official at the park Thursday, the work is going as planned and nothing unexpected has been discovered yet as workers remove old asbestos insulation, the former dining area on the upper level and the old network of electrical and plumbing ducts.
Once the "partial demolition" is complete, state officials will engage Phase 2, which includes gathering ideas from the public as to new uses for the structure depending on what is left after Phase 1.
The other major transition at the marina is the replacement of park manager Nick Sherlock, who left in early July to take a position with the Hickory Run State Park.
An official on Thursday relayed that there has been no announcement yet as to Sherlock's replacement, and DCNR regional manager Jared Fencil has been filling in on a rotating temporary basis in the interim.
The Shikellamy State Park includes the greater marina area, land across the river that includes the Shikellamy Overlook, and is also responsible for the Adam T. Bower Memorial inflatable dam, considered the largest such dam in the world, which helps form the 3,060-acre Lake Augusta within the Susquehanna River parallel to Sunbury.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.