Work ends at Academy Park site; bandshell open to public – will debut at Peach Festival
√ Starbucks on track for late-September opening inside Tops
By Joshua Maloni
Construction is now complete on the relocated and expanded Alphonso DiMino Memorial Bandshell at Academy Park in Lewiston. In fact, a handful of parents wasted no time in bringing their children – contestants in next weekend’s Peach Festival Fuzz and Blossom contests – to practice Friday on the new stage.
The bandshell is now located on the corner of Portage Road and Cayuga Street. It can be viewed from anywhere inside Academy Park. Formerly, site lines were limited, as the platform faced Center Street and the Cask + Cow restaurant.
Tops, Tops Xpress and Colonial Valley Plaza owner Anthony DiMino paid to have the bandshell moved. He donated it to the Village of Lewiston, hoping the stage will be used for more community events.
“It's built to last,” DiMino said. “It's built so there is less maintenance for the Village of Lewiston.
“Everybody says it's in the right spot. I hope so. I was asked today, ‘Who do I want to use it?’ And I told them, ‘This is the village’s.’ I gave it to them.
“I would hope that we're actually going to utilize it more than the last one, because the excuse was always that it was faced in the wrong spot.
“It's faced where they want it. It's bigger than they requested. There really is no excuses.
“Obviously, the Peach Festival is gonna use it. … But I would hope that they’re talking about ‘Blue Mondays’ for next year. Go ahead. ‘Shakespeare in the Park,’ dance recitals – whatever they want to do. I don't care if there's something at the venue every day of the week from now until doomsday. It's there to be enjoyed.”
DiMino said Hardie board and vinyl flooring and pillars will endure the weather. The back storage/dressing areas are three times as large as before, and “Steve's Air Conditioning donated an air-conditioning system to that back room, so now that back room has air-conditioning.”
An extended stage will enable more musical acts to perform on the bandshell.
“It's something my father always would enjoy,” DiMino said. “And seeing that it's a testament to a great entrepreneur and a corporate and civic person for the Village of Lewiston, for all the years he lived, I think that this Al DiMino Memorial Bandshell will be a testament to him for hopefully the next 50 years.”
The Alphonso DiMino Memorial Bandshell.
Improved lighting and decorative trusses were incorporated into the stage design.
Plans are formulating for a ceremony ahead of 2022 outdoor programming.
“We're hoping to dedicate it – officially – Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully, Memorial Day,” DiMino said. “We're gonna try to piggyback on the parade – if there's a parade – the ceremonies. We'd like to dedicate it that day, or close to that day. And I'm hoping to have a really big announcement of who's going to be playing on the bandshell that day.”
DiMino said events can be booked through the mayor’s office.
If groups or organizations wish to donate items to the dressing area to make it homier, they are welcome to do so.
“Is it plush inside? It is not. It's just basically walls and a plywood floor. Obviously, if someone wants to donate a rug or whatever inside, it's the village’s. I know that they have someone that wants to donate some landscaping,” DiMino said.
He also noted some additional track lighting will be added in the near future.
Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch said, “It is my great pleasure to announce the completion of the newly relocated and renovated Academy Park bandshell. Many thanks to Anthony DiMino for this beautiful bandshell, which has completely transformed Academy Park and will be utilized and enjoyed for years to come for many festivals, concerts and events.”
Starbucks to Open Sept. 27
DiMino’s other construction projects are wrapping, as well, with exterior work finishing at Colonial Valley Plaza, and Starbucks built inside DiMino Lewiston Tops.
“In regards to that project, we were delayed a month, because of lack of help,” DiMino said. “We have enough people now to open.”
He explained, “It's a full-service Starbucks. So, the baked goods we’ll have. We're not doing the sandwich program, but we're doing obviously all the drinks and all the merchandise.”
Starbucks hours will be 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
Among the amenities of this location, “We have two designated parking spots right when you turn into the parking lot next to the park,” DiMino said. “That will be for the new in-and-out type of service that they have. It’s more of an online thing. You call it in. By the time you get to the parking lot and park, you walk in, it's already there; you pick it up and you’re done.”
With Starbucks in place at the main entrance, DiMino reiterated, “We think we are done; we are done remodeling inside the store. This will put us as progressive as a store as we could possibly fit in that small box. I don't expect any in-store big things, because I haven't seen anything, when I go out west or anywhere else, that is doing something different. We're pretty much up to date.”