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Beach Commission Voices Support for New Second Beach Pavilion

A discussion of a new pavilion for Second Beach dominates the Commission’s meeting.

At its regular monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon, the Beach Commission voted to send a memo to Town Council voicing its support of a new pavilion to house the beach operation at Second Beach. “We want the Council to know we fully support the concept of a new pavilion along the lines of the “Alternative 2 Design” in the RKG report, with adequate facilities and also with an outdoor deck for community use,” said Beach Commission chairman Rian Wilkinson.

The “Alternative 2 Design” is contained in the report that consultants from RKG Associates presented to Town Council Monday night, as part of a market analysis that explored the possibility of an events pavilion at Second Beach. Although the events pavilion was shown to be economically unfeasible , the need for a new pavilion to house the beach operation is still urgent, according to Commission members.

“’What’s up with the trailers?’ is a question I get all the time,” said Wilkinson, a reference to the fact that the existing Second Beach pavilion includes a series of trailers that have been added over the years to support the growing operation. The existing pavilion at Second Beach was constructed in 1975, and is inadequate to house the larger staff—lifeguards, management, parking attendants—and the increased number of visitors to Second Beach, an operation that generates more than a million dollars in annual revenue for the town.

The concept for the new pavilion includes twice the number of changing booths, toilets, and showers for visitors; increased storage space for equipment; separate locker rooms for male and female lifeguards (the existing pavilion contains only one locker room as there were only male lifeguards when the pavilion was built); increased concession space; and a large outdoor deck.

With an estimated cost of $3.5 million, the new pavilion will require a bond referendum, and the commission members expressed the desire to proceed in a way that would allow the referendum to be placed on the November 2012 ballot. Councilor Chris Semonelli, a member of the Beach Commission, stated his understanding that the new beach pavilion will move through the town’s budget process, which is already underway. There was also discussion of the need to ensure any new building at Second Beach will receive proper approvals and permitting from such agencies as the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council.

“Town Council also needs feedback from the community,” said Semonelli, who expected that public input on a new pavilion might naturally become part of budget talks in coming months.

In other business, the Beach Commission discussed upcoming projects, which include ways to improve safety on and around the Third Beach Boat Ramp, and the construction of a kayak/dinghy rack for townspeople’s use at Third Beach.

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