Onset Bathhouse rehabilitation advances: Lawsuit dismissed, construction underway, Bay dolphins clearly pleased

The Buzzards Bay Coalition’s creation of the Onset Bay Center took a number of steps forward this week with work commencing on the Onset Bathhouse rehabilitation, work completed on Wickets Island, and the dismissal of a citizen lawsuit filed against the bathhouse.

Wickets Island in Onset Bay

This week, the Coalition and its contractors completed the land-based work of restoring Wickets Island, which will allow for the creation of a safe field and trails for everyone to enjoy this special place.

Working in close partnership with the town of Wareham, the Coalition is working to transform the dilapidated Onset Bathhouse into a 21st century facility that honors the building’s original intent while actively providing educational and community services to support on-the-water programs for youth and families designed to engage everyone with their local environment. The town leased the bathhouse to the Coalition following a Special Act of the Legislature and Governor Baker’s approval in 2017.

Today in Plymouth Superior Court, a citizen’s lawsuit – Lisa Morales et al. v. Town of Wareham et al. – that was filed earlier this month objecting to the project was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs. By dismissing the case “with prejudice,” the plaintiffs have waived all future rights to raise similar claims or appeals against the project.

With the dismissal of this litigation, the Buzzards Bay Coalition reconfirmed its plans and commitment to rehabilitate and expand the bathhouse as presently permitted and to restore and maintain the adjacent bluff of Bayview Park as natural open space.

Coalition President Mark Rasmussen commented on the dismissal: “Nothing has changed about the Bathhouse design and we are moving forward just as planned. I want to thank the town of Wareham for their continued partnership in seeing this project to completion. We have all worked hard to ensure that everything with regard to this project is done thoughtfully and correctly, and the dismissal of this lawsuit reconfirms that.”

On the ground, the Coalition’s selected builder for the project, The Valle Group, began work on the interior of the bathhouse structure in preparation for new foundation and utility work in the coming months.

dolphin in Onset Bay in November 2018

In the early morning of Thursday, November 29, an Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin greeted the Coalition’s Wickets Island work crew. The dolphin was seen enjoying the clear waters of Onset Bay just off Onset Pier.

Also on Onset Bay this week:

  • The Coalition and its contractors completed the land-based work of restoring Wickets Island with the dangerous remains of the former mansion filled and invasive vines cleared to allow for the creation of a safe field and trails for everyone to enjoy this special place. All of this work was funded with private contributions to the Coalition. Waterfront work to install a float, repair the stone pier, and replace the staircase to the top of the island will take place in a second phase later next year.
  • The expansion of the Onset Bay Center’s year-round outdoor programming moves forward with a free Open Water Swim scheduled for this Saturday, December 1.
  • An Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin greeted the Coalition’s Wickets Island work crew in the early morning of Thursday, November 29. The dolphin was seen enjoying the clear waters of Onset Bay just off Onset Pier.
Category: On the Bay

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