Early mornings in Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY sounded a little different this week. Chirping birds have been replaced with heavy duty construction equipment as one of the town's largest public projects begins to take shape.

While there was nothing secretive about the plans that will completely transform the sprawling park, the start date was still a surprise. Initially meant to begin in September, a sudden change has created a ripple effect for the entire summer season.

Photo of the entrance to Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY
A massive construction project has unexpectedly started at Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY (TSM Poughkeepsie)

"Surprise" Construction at Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY

I was one of the Newburgh residents caught off guard by the change. Walking my dog around the playground last week, I noticed that the barriers surrounding our favorite hockey rink (it was the perfect place for dog training) were missing (below). After inquiring at the guard house, I learned that it was only the first step in what would be a months-long, multi-million dollar project.

Construction at Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY
Chadwick Lake Park's hockey rink was the first thing to go in the new construction project (TSM Poughkeepsie)

What's Coming to Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY?

Chadwick Lake Park in the town of Newburgh has been a fantastic resource for Orange County nature-lovers for decades. With more than four miles of walking paths, boating options, multiple pavilions, a playground, basketball courts, and a weekly summer concert series, it's hard to imagine what else could be added (personally, I'd love to see a tennis court).

Construction at Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY
A new community center is being built at Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY (TSM Poughkeepsie)

New Recreation Center Coming to Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY

This week, construction began on what Town of Newburgh Councilman Scott Manley describes as a 13-month long project to build a new recreation and community center at Chadwick Lake Park. The building's footprint would replace the current hockey rink, as well as a large portion of the adjoining field and playground.

Read More: New York DEC Says to Destroy this Invasive 'Frankenfish' 

Effects of Construction at Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh, NY

The $12 million undertaking is also affecting upcoming summer activities, with many parents expressing disappointment after a "sudden" change of plans moved up the construction date from September to June, causing the relocation of a town-favorite summer camp. The change was necessary, officials said, in order to complete outdoor construction before the winter season arrives.

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While the completed project will offer countless benefits to residents, it may be a long summer for park-goers accustomed to the peace and quiet (and hockey rink and playground and summer camp) that Chadwick Lake has previously offered.

A Checklist of 10 Fun and Fantastic Upstate New York Water Parks (Indoor and Outdoor)

Warm weather means heading to the river with a canoe or kayak, or sitting out back playing the the kids under a garden hose, visiting the town community swimming pool, or heading to any of Upstate New York's wonderful lakes. But for many, summer means heading to the waterpark!!

Here is a checklist of 10 of the best waterparks in Upstate New York. This is just a short list, as we know there are plenty that we may have missed. This gallery showcases the big monster waterparks, such as the two Great Escape parks in the Darien Lake and Lake George area, as well as smaller "family waterparks" for all ages.

We have also included both indoor and outdoor waterparks. If you have a favorite in Upstate New York that we missed, please visit our Facebook page and give it a shoutout. We really do want to hear from you!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

25 Fantastic New York State Parks Located in Upstate New York to Visit This Summer!

New York State has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to state parks. We have them all, big and small, water front and deep in the woods, and from all over including the Hudson Valley all the way out to Western New York. Millions attend these parks every year, both in the summer and winter. Here is a selection of 23 of the best state parks. Of course there are dozens more so please visit our Facebook page and give your favorite a shoutout if you don't see it on this list!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio