Jones Beach to undergo $65 million facelift

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced plans for a $65 million renovation for Jones Beach State Park, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year.
The project aims to bolster the tourism industry and enhance the quality of life on Long Island that is vital to attracting and maintaining new businesses. Plans are in place to restore historical features of the beach complex, strengthen storm resiliency and expand recreational opportunities.
“The Jones Beach Revitalization Plan is one of our most historic projects, and it will help to grow our tourism industry and help bring jobs to Long Island communities,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We are excited to offer New Yorkers the opportunity to enjoy and explore the new Jones Beach for generations to come.”
Over the next five years, the plan calls for capital improvement projects mostly funded by the NY Works initiative. According to state officials, Jones Beach has welcomed more than 63 million people during the past decade for events like fireworks, the Bethpage Air Show and concerts at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.
“Jones Beach visitors have a real romanticism with this park,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “With Governor Cuomo’s historic annual commitment to our state park system, we are primed to fund this revitalization plan so that Jones Beach can be enjoyed by future generations.”
After a study was conducted to assess the park’s needs, the Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation created the revitalization plan, which it says will create more than 600.

The revitalization will encompass a number of changes:

  • Restoring historical grandeur. The park’s major buildings, including the east and west bathhouses and the Central Mall buildings, will be rehabilitated. The work will include the creation of cultivated gardens, the introduction of native and natural vegetation, and the restoration of the Central Mall lawn and fountain as well as the park’s historic brick and stone buildings.
  • Expansion of food and beverage options and recreation. New and improved recreational facilities will include volleyball, soccer, cricket, miniature golf and yoga areas as well as the proposed introduction of an adventure play area with aquatic features, rock climbing and a zip line. The redesign of food and snack areas will allow more vendors to offer more diverse, ethnic and local foods. Visitors will be able to choose from among a restaurant with patio dining, a diner, take-out shops, marketplace options and a beachfront café.
  • Streamlined park entry. Park entryways will be rebuilt as attractive welcome plazas to streamline entrance to the park, making use of automation. In addition, signage throughout the park will promote better accessibility.
  • Increased storm resiliency. A multi-pronged strategy has been developed that includes reducing coastal erosion, elevating new structures that are subject to flooding, raising the utilities of existing structures and allowing the natural accretion of dunes in select areas of the beach where it will not obstruct patrons’ views from the boardwalk.

The complete restoration of the West Bathhouse is first on the docket, and it will be open before Memorial Day weekend. There will be exterior refurbishment, and the pool deck and filtration system will be replaced.

There will also be a pilot food marketplace at the Central Mall, featuring a variety of vendors, and a shaded seating area as well as a seasonal restaurant at Field 6.

“I commend Governor Cuomo for his plans to invest significant dollars in restoring the beauty of Jones Beach,” Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said, “and for ensuring repairs are made so that this gem continues to serve our residents and visitors alike for decades to come.”
Public meetings are planned, at which people can review the revitalization plan, although no dates have been set. For more information on the project, visit http://nysparks.com/inside-our-agency/documents/JonesBeachStateParkRevitalizationInitiativeDCP.pdf.