CHARLESTOWN - It is no secret that the beaches of Charlestown are among the favorite summer destinations of many Rhode Island and Connecticut residents, not to mention visitors from afar. This summer, Charlestown Town Beach and Blue Shutters Beach will be even better places to spend a sunny summer day, with better accommodations than ever before.
The town is quickly nearing completion of a $1.19 million project to build new pavilions at both of the beaches. The pavilions will include better restroom facilities, storage space for staff, an office for the beach manager, first aid rooms, and, of course, a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island, according to Charlestown parks and Recreation Director Jay Primiano.
“Some people may want to come simply to sit on the porch,” Primiano said.
The tax payers of the town voted for the project in a referendum last June, and construction started in January of this year. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the town beach pavilion on Thursday, May 24, and the Blue Shutters pavilion will be open around the same time.
Primiano praised those who worked on the project not only for the high quality of their work, but also for getting the project done in time for summer, 2012. The contractor for the project is V and M Construction, Inc., of Westerly, the architects are Azzinaro Larson AIA Arrchitects, Inc., also of Westerly, and the composting work was done by Clivus Composting New England.
“They all did an incredible job to pull this off in five months,” Primiano said.
For the last 10 years, portable trailers were used for restrooms and such at the beaches, and there were revamped approximately five years ago at the cost of $30,000. Primiano said that the Parks and Recreation Commission, along with an ad hoc subcommittee to discuss this issue, eventually convinced the town that the pavilions were a better investment than to keep restoring similar trailers every five or so years.
Primiano said that the new structures are built to last 50 - 75 years. He also said that the new pavilions will provide better peace of mind for families concerned their children’s safety and cleanliness. Also, the pavilions will provide handicapped access, which the old trailers did not.
While workers will still milling around at the sites as of this week, both pavilions are practically finished, said Primiano, and everything is on schedule for the ceremony on May 24.
“I think we are going to be in a much better position to ensure quality at the beaches for a long time,” he said.
The pavilions will be open just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.