With work currently underway to renovate the Oceanic Hotel’s front porch, you’ll find Star Island staff have kept busy during the off-season.
A number of life safety and general improvement projects will greet guests this summer with upgraded infrastructure behind the scenes, but projects also include more noticeable tasks.
Island Manager and Facilities Superintendent, Jack Farrell, outlined the projects planned for 2013. At the top of the list is the front porch reconstruction which will focus on the decking immediately in front of the hotel lobby, which is about 90 feet of the front porch. The front porch will be replaced with brand new douglas fir boards with new supports installed underneath. As one of the main gathering places for people on the island, the front porch project allows for a more stable setting to last even longer.
Part of the front porch project includes mandatory upgrades to the front porch railing to meet safety codes. Law requires the railings to be 42” high with no holes or gaps in the structure less than 4 inches. Farrell worked with the Property Standards and Strategic Facilities committees to develop a solution to the need for new railings.
Balancing the desire to meet the height requirement while also not wanting to obstruct the view of guests in rocking chairs, the groups developed a plan to install a cable wire-like outer railing while retaining the current railings. This hybrid approach meets the required safety codes with the least possible change to the current front porch structure.
The front porch project also ties in with the replacement of a load bearing beam in the Oceanic’s front wall. During this replacement, workers will rebuild the windows along the front wall of the hotel lobby.
Egress and accessibility improvements will also come to Star Island in 2013. Working on the advice and suggestions from guests using wheelchairs last year, staff will tend to better door opening and closing systems.
Other welcomed improvements for guests include an outside firm engineering a proper ventilation system for the hotel’s basement showers. The goal is to find the correct airflow to better mitigate the air’s moisture content. Non-porous tile will also be placed on a portion of each bathroom stall for easier cleaning.
In addition, fixing the dining hall roof damaged during several storms this past winter; upgrading bathrooms in Brookfield, Sandpiper, and Lawrence; and improving cistern water collection are among many other important projects.