A plan floated for the preservation of the former life-saving station at Tiana Beach in East Quogue includes the construction of a 16-foot deck behind the oceanfront building and a viewing platform so visitors can see the water.
Southampton Town officials called in experts who worked on the building’s restoration and stabilization, as well as the parks and community preservation department, on Thursday, August 23. Officials took the middle ground on the building’s restoration in an effort to meet the public’s needs while cutting back on costs associated with the project that would not be funded by the Community Preservation Fund or reimbursed with grant money. Initial options for the deck came in between $300,000 and $400,000.
“We basically nixed both of those and went with the $100,000 scenario,” said Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
At the crux of a previous discussion was the direction the board would proceed in with the construction of a deck to the rear of the building. It was dependent on whether or not to have a food concession on the property, and whether there was a large enough deck planned to attract a concessionaire and visitors. Rather than going that direction, the board decided to have an on-site food truck.
Under the new plan, a 16-foot deck, which will be constructed behind the building, will be paid for with CPF money. However, the viewing platform will be bonded to the tune of $100,000.
“That will really add a lot to the recreational experience in that area, so people can come off the beach and they can go to the observation deck. They will be able to go out to the food truck and get something to eat. So, I think we did the fiscally responsible thing to do, and I think that it is going to work out very well,” Schneiderman said.
Board members also discussed the possibility of applying for federal grant money because the building was once a United States Coast Guard Life-saving Station that was manned entirely by African Americans.
Once complete, the building will remain empty until a steward is found to take it over. The board will decide later how a museum to be included in the building will be curated.
“That is something that will take some thought,” said Councilman John Bouvier.