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.
8/13/2020 04:25:23 pm
i was in a training program back in the 80s it should be turned back into an education center alot of the things that were in there was stored in the buildings over at the look out the kids today need to learn about the local history
8/13/2020 07:45:47 pm
I would love to see a multi purpose building. An education center in part of it to teach about the marina and surrounding area would be nice, with a nice restaurant in another part of it. That view in the evening should draw people if it is done right and if the place has a great menu. I would imagine that admittance into the grounds after dark may present a challenge though.
James E Brosious II
8/13/2020 11:33:04 pm
I myself would like to see an educational venture go on here... just like when I was a kid. Something that teaches the youth of today about the river, nature, and the people in history who made this home. Maybe even the railroad system that once made this area thrive! There is so much that the youth will never know if they are not taught or it is forgotten. The sad problem is... most kids these days could care less! They aren't being brought up to want to learn about nature and the people who discovered this area. It's a sad society.
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John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.