Construction started late in the last week of May. Now Harborcreek residents say they're looking forward to using the new beach.
"I think it's absolutely wonderful," says Harborcreek resident Sandy Clark. "It's why we moved out here - a big part of it."
Harborcreek residents say they love Shades Beach, but they cannot visit it right now.
Last week crews started a $2.6 million construction project to revitalize the beach. Of that money, $750,000 came with the help of state legislators.
The money will go to major improvements of the beach area and some other changes like the addition of fishing areas and a boat ramp.
"I'm excited about it due to the fact that I have a boat," says Jim Costello, who fishes on Lake Erie. "It looks pretty good. One of the problems that we're going to deal with, all of us fishermen, is trying to find bait in the local area."
Bait worries aside, Shades Beach is no stranger to change. The access road was improved in 1995, and one neighbor says she remembers when the beach looked very different.
"There was a two-story cement block building," recalls Harborcreek Resident Louise Bencivenga, who has lived near the lake for 38 years. "You could change clothes in there and you could buy snacks, candy, and pop," she adds.
There is no plan for a concession stand now, but that probably will not keep people like Bencivenga away.
"We have a lot of great-grandchildren and they love to go down and play at the beach," she says. "So that'll be nice, and the sooner, the better!"
Harborcreek Township Supervisor Donna Mindek heads the Shades Beach project. She says if the weather cooperates, construction crews hope to be done by the spring of 2008.
Mindek and other Harborcreek officials will have a meeting on Wednesday to update progress on the project.