NARRAGANSETT – Fifty-nine of the summer cabanas at Narragansett Town Beach will undergo significant renovations, the town council recently voted. The work will apply to the west and south units, as the north cabanas were recently reconstructed after they were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The project is being completed by Martone Service Company, Inc. (MSC), a local construction business, and is expected to cost $1,013,217.
“We think it’s a good investment,” said Narragansett Parks and Recreation Director Steve Wright. “It’s something that desperately needs to be done. The roofing and siding absolutely needs to be done. This is a good price. I’d hate to see us not do it now and keep pushing it down the road.”
Located at 81 Boston Neck Road, just past the entrances for the town beach, the cabanas, which come with showers and two transferable parking passes for the beach, are rented exclusively to Narragansett residents for $2,500 for the season. Those wishing to begin renting a cabana will have to be patient, as there is approximately a 10 to 15-year waiting list for new rentals, with 249 people registered.
Of the 83 cabanas, 24 were constructed in the 1980s. Then, in 1992, another 59 were built. After the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the original 24 cabanas were destroyed and rebuilt in 2015 by MSC for approximately $339,000.
“We like that model,” said Wright of the 24 units reconstructed in 2015. “They’re all in great shape and they’ve held up. We’re not changing the design of the new 59.”
The remaining 59 units have been largely untouched since their original construction.
“We haven’t put a lot of capital money into these sections,” said Wright.
“I think those two sections have been like that for 75 years,” joked councilor Patrick Murray of the 59 units set for renovation. “The money’s there. I calculate about five years to recoup the losses. I can support this.”
According to Wright, rental of the beach cabanas brings in about $207,500 annually. Like all revenue generated by the town beach, the funds stay in a beach enterprise fund, which is used exclusively to fund beach operations and capital improvement projects. The monies for the cabana renovation project will be taken from the beach enterprise fund, which currently sits at about $3.8 million, according to town officials.
Constructed from corrugated fiberglass roofing and siding, Wright said age and weather has caused the 59 units to deteriorate, and their replacement is a matter of safety and long-term sustainability. The 59 units will be demolished down to their foundations, which will remain for new construction. As with the north cabanas renovated in 2015, the west and south cabanas will be built above the 100-year flood level with a deck level equal in height to the deck level of the north cabanas.
Five companies responded to the town’s request for bids on the project – Abcore Restoration Company, Superstructure Building Company, South County Post and Beam, Tower Construction Corporation and MSC, which won out the bidding process with its $1,013,000 estimate. Other estimates reached as high as $1,659,000.
The Narragansett Town Council unanimously approved the renovation project at a recent council meeting.