By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 9, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- The state is considering spending $10 million on constructing a new Seashell Complex, adding additional bathrooms and establishing a visitor center at Hampton Beach.
State Department of Economic Resource and Development Commissioner George Bald came before selectmen Monday night to give an update on the project.
The Division of Parks and Recreation has requested approval from the Legislature to fund the project with a $20 million capital improvement bond.
While $10 million would go to improvements at Hampton Beach, the other funding would be used for maintenance and improvements in other parks.
"The rationale that was given for spending this amount on Hampton Beach is to bring this 'flagship' state park up to a standard of quality that will result in a better visitor experience and increased revenue," said Allison McLean, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation.
McLean said the project is in accordance with the town's 2001 Hampton Beach master plan.
McLean said project was a recommendation of the finance subcommittee of the state Park Commission.
The state Park Commission was created under Senate Bill 5. One of the goals of the commission was to establish a long-range capital improvement plan for the state park system.
The improvements eyed for Hampton Beach include a new entertainment complex with a stage. Visitor services would include a park contact office, lifeguard watch and first-aid stations, and an integrated visitor information and transportation center.
A new bath house located at the southern end of the Seashell Complex near Haverhill Street and another bathroom in the area near the Marine Memorial are also included.
The bond also includes funding for a visitor center and park offices located at the Southern end of Hampton Beach State Park.