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A beach without a bathhouse

July 8, 2011

Photo by Kathleen McKiernan

Caelan Penaeo and Hunter Schofield enjoy a day at the East Matunuck State Beach Tuesday.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – As the last remaining pieces of the old beach pavilion at East Matunuck State Beach are trucked away this week, some beach goers are feeling disgruntled by the upheaval of their beach stay.
While East Matunuck beach lovers visit the state beach this summer they may be surprised to find less parking, no concession stand and only port-a-johns as construction of the new pavilion is underway up until next May 2012.

DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation advises that beach patrons use the remaining nine state saltwater beaches or four freshwater beaches located within state parks during the construction period, due to the limited availability of parking and amenities.

The demolition is part of the replacement of the 1978 bathhouse with a handicap-accessible, LEED Silver-certified energy efficient facility. The Department of Environmental Management began the $3.9 million project as part of its state capital project to improve the state beach accommodations. The project began in early May and is expected to be completed by next Memorial Day in May 2012.

“So far, [construction] is going real well. Parking is about half of what it used to be. They’re trying to squeeze in as many people as possible, but construction is going well,” General Contractor Superintendent Tony Pereira of Pezzuco Construction Inc. said.

Pezzuco Construction, Inc. of Cranston was awarded the construction contract along with working with a design team led by Burgin Lambert Architects of Newport.

“We’re in the process of trucking away the last remaining pieces of the original building by Wednesday,” Pereira said Tuesday afternoon. “Right now, visitors can only use temporary port-a-johns. There are no concessions or food at this time until the new facility is built. Next year it’ll be good news when it opens.”

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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