Bergen County Parks Department Breaks Ground on New Riverside County Park Amphitheater

Riverside County Park sunset

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On Tuesday, October 26th,  LAN Associates joined the Bergen Country Parks Department and county and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Riverside County Park Amphitheater and Comfort Station. Once completed in the spring of 2022, the new 3,000 sf project, located in North Arlington, NJ, will provide a new gathering point in the park, expanding event opportunities and recreational activities to Bergen County residents.

The Bergen Department of Parks retained LAN Associates (LAN) to spearhead the project as lead architectural designer. LAN worked in conjunction with MKW+Associates who provided the landscape architectural design and Micucci Engineering for structural design. The Bergen County Department of Parks hired LiRo Group, Inc., to manage the construction and to ensure the project is completed on budget and on schedule.

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Commissioner Chair Steve Tanelli, were both in attendance, as were representatives from the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund, who provided grants to help fund the $2.8 million amphitheater and comfort station project. Additional funding was provided by the Bergen County Parks Capital Plan.

“The goal of the project was to create an iconic community structure, enhancing park amenities and community interaction. As part of a larger effort to rejuvenate Riverside County Park South, our team found new and unique ways for park guests to interact with and enjoy nature,” said lead project architect Matthew Fink, AIA, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C.

When completed, the project will be a new community focal point. With that goal in mind, LAN’s architects took a serpentine stone wall and intertwined it with a comfort station and stage to create a structure that rises from the earth. The amphitheater will be embedded into an existing slope, creating a natural theatrical venue for park guests to enjoy a variety of performances. An artistic roof structure will further connect the programmatic elements and the structure to the landscape and provide shade while aiding in the overall acoustics.

Other design features include enhanced restroom security via threat detection systems, vandal resistant finishes with a modern aesthetic, and accessibility and inclusivity for all users with the “family” restroom located between the two gendered restrooms. The comfort station also features clerestory lighting for ample natural light and an accessible chase to provide maintenance without shutting down the building.

“It’s exciting to see Bergen County invest in its local parks, enriching the communities and culture while providing unique experiences for all ages” said Kyle Stoker, LAN Associates Construction Administrator.

In addition to the new amphitheater and comfort station, the project also includes a maintenance garage, new walking paths with access to the river, varied recreational spaces, and a new loop road/parking throughout park. This project encompasses a majority of the 85 acres of the park along the Passaic River and spans the municipalities of Lyndhurst and North Arlington.

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