by Kyle M. Belmont, Program & Outreach Coordinator
New siding, new paint, new cement. Starting this spring, Star Island begins many major upgrades to maintain our historical structures while enhancing the guest experience with safety in mind.
The most noticeable upgrade takes place in the Dining Hall. Old soundproofing panels will be dismantled, leading to a thorough cleaning and repainting of the entire room. Consultants will advise on a new soundproofing system. Funding for this project comes from individual donations and assistance due to weather damage.
The Oceanic Hotel will receive a face lift on its north and east walls with new siding and sheathing. A grant from New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) makes much of this project possible. Replacing window trim and installing vinyl storm windows are also in the plan.
Two upgrades to the Chapel will increase occupancy to 91 persons from the current limit of 50. The increase is the result of a new sprinkler system and the replacement of the front door. The sprinkler system is recessed into the ceiling and will be minimally intrusive in the historic structure. Most of this project is funded from a grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY.
Beyond structural work, Star Island will also experience a wireless boost this year. Funded by an anonymous $40,000 donation, contractors will work to expand the current wireless network meant specifically as a benefit for conference lectures, workshops and activities.
“These upgrades show our commitment to maintaining an affordable, family-friendly destination through a focus on safety and sustainability,” said Joe Watts, Star Island’s CEO.
The work is set to begin in April as staff set out to Star Island and start the open up process. With the help of contractors, consultants, and a multitude of volunteers, Star Island will be set once again to welcome guests by mid-June.
“Every year we take on a number of tasks,” said Jack Farrell, Island Manager & Director of Facilities, “and this is another year of quality projects that will have a lasting impact.”
More news will come this fall as Star Island works on pier repairs with funding coming from weather damage assistance.
Interested in helping?
Star Island is always in need of volunteer support. If you are interested in coming out the island this spring, please click here for the online sign up.
Other projects for 2014 include:
- Repair pier damage from winter storms including the installation of 156 tons of granite rip rap for westerly side to mitigate large waves.
- Rebuild front porch in front of Gosport to meet safety codes.
- Collect data and final design for new wastewater treatment system to prepare for permitting and construction estimates.
- Expand collection of rain water and introduce filtration system to make rain water safe for drinking.
- Install new roof on Cottage C and the Shack.
- Purchase and install new dishwashing machine and propane booster heater.
- Improve plumbing system in food service areas to maintain a healthy water system.
- Purchase a new 80 kW diesel generator to be compatible with solar energy system and to solely handle the island’s energy needs.