Work is underway on new Mid-Station

Construction equipment is on Whiteface Mountain awaiting work on the new Mid-Station Lodge. (Provided photo — Olympic Regional Development Authority)

WILMINGTON — Work has begun on a new Mid-Station Lodge at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center.

The state Olympic Regional Development Authority posted a photo of construction equipment atop the snow-covered mountain on social media Tuesday with the caption: “Great news, ground work has started in preparation for construction of our new mid-station lodge. We are currently digging the power line route and test boring for the new lodge foundation.”

ORDA CEO Michael Pratt said Tuesday the authority is working on “relocating the electric lines and some of those types of equipment,” in a way that will hopefully limit the impact on the rest of the ski center.

Despite the sometimes extreme winter weather conditions on the mountain, the agency is moving toward construction at a rapid-fire pace. The Mid-Station burned down in a late-night blaze on Nov. 30, 2019, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $14 million in state funding to rebuild the structure little more than a month later, on Jan. 4. Less than a month after that, the ORDA Board of Directors authorized Pratt to move forward with purchasing materials for the rebuild — a change from the way ORDA typically approaches construction projects, which is to have contractors purchase materials.

On Feb. 25, ORDA issued a request for proposals seeking a contractor to prepare the site and access road; bids are due by March 17. On Monday, the authority issued an RFP seeking a contractor to construct a concrete foundation for the Mid-Station. Those bids are due by March 23.

Pratt has said the goal is to have at least “a shell enclosed with bathrooms” by Nov. 1. The new lodge will likely be built slightly further north on the mountain, according to Pratt. Its stormwater system will be relocated to the bottom of the mountain.

Renderings of the new 10,000-square-foot lodge, provided by the governor’s office in January, give an idea of what it’s expected to look like: a two-story A-frame with a vaulted ceiling on the upper floor and a wraparound deck. Glass-paneled walls from floor to ceiling would be framed by timber and light gray or black metal and custom stonework.

The former Mid-Station was built in 1960 and housed two restaurants. It was constructed with “modern Swiss design” for around $170,000, according to a Dec. 8, 1960, article in the Lake Placid News. It had ceiling-to-floor glass walls — which the new one will replicate — with views over the mountain’s Mixing Bowl area, where upper trails converge.


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