Improvements to Wantagh Park, including new athletic fields, a mini golf course and other renovations, should be completed by the spring, according to the county’s public works department.

The $4.5 million face-lift is part of County Executive Edward Mangano’s “pledge to invest in Nassau County parks,” said Mary Studdert, a public works spokeswoman, in an email.

Wantagh Park, located along the Flat Creek and Jackson Creek waterfront, has been part of the county’s park system since 1961 and hadn’t had a major upgrade in decades, Studdert said.

At 111 acres, the park is one of the largest and most-visited in the county, said Nassau Legis. Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore). The park’s many activities, including the 18-hole, nautical-themed mini golf course, the pool complex and a boat launch, are designed to appeal to different age groups.

“No matter what your interest level is, you can find something to give yourself an enjoyable afternoon,” Rhoads said.

Because the county has 16 preserves, which are dedicated to protecting the environment, Rhoads said there’s not much space left — particularly along the South Shore — for additional parks.

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“This is one of the few all-purpose areas that we have for folks to use,” he said.

Wantagh Park saw a roughly $8 million upgrade to its pools in the late 1990s, a renovation some critics said came at the expense of pools in other park districts.

Mangano, Rhoads and state Sen. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) announced the upgrades last month, touting the changes to the park as “major improvements.”

Several have already been completed: The mini golf course, yacht club and a new lighthouse near the marina were finished over the summer, Studdert said. Construction on the four new turf fields — funded through $450,000 from the state, secured by Venditto — began last month and remain under construction. The work is being completed by public works employees and contractors.

Dog park at Wantagh Park which is currently under renovation, Wednesday Dec 7, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Several of the improvements were needed after superstorm Sandy damage in October 2012. For example, a new community room attached to the administration building replaces the wrecked dockmaster’s building. Some of the expenses will be reimbursed by FEMA.

“Wantagh Park bore the brunt of Sandy’s impact in terms of county park facilities,” Studdert said.

The money for the park renovations comes from the capital projects fund in the county budget, as well as from the Environmental Bond Act for $130,000 for dog run improvements. The mini golf course cost $600,000; the pool upgrades totaled $465,000, and the administration and beacon building cost $1.9 million.

Rhoads said parts of the park will draw revenue, such as the athletic fields and the mini golf course.

“I grew up three blocks from here,” he said. “I spent pretty much every day in the summer here. . . . I know how much use this park gets.”

The small dog run at Wantagh Park is currently closed due to renovations Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The county legislator said he hopes Cow Meadow Park in Freeport will undergo improvements next.