The new bathhouse at Barrington Beach – criticized often during the process of getting Town Council approval -- was opened officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday morning, June 23.
Only a handful of people showed up for the Recreation Department-sponsored ceremony in muggy and overcast conditions. But town officials, including Recreation Director John Taylor, Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr. and Town Council President June Speakman, tried to make the best of the situation.
Taylor got the honor of officially opening the bathhouse by cutting crepe paper ribbons at the entrance to the bathhouse.
DeAngelis said that despite the criticism of the project and the lack of support from the Parks and Recreation Commission and the split vote of the Town Council, everyone stepped up to make the project a reality.
The recreation commission had only two members, Anthony Arico and Ed McKinlay, vote for it, said Arico, who kept saying at the ceremony that "I've very happy" about pushing the project to the Town Council.
The Town Council vote was 3-2 to build the bathhouse, with Speakman, Kate Weymouth and Cynthia Coyne supporting it. Jeff Brenner and Bill DeWitt opposed the new bathhouse.
DeAngelis also thanked Taylor for doing what he did on a limited budget. “He can be very proud of this,” DeAngelis said.
Speakman also spread around some thanks, including to the citizens group known as the “beachkeepers” -- who preferred making renovations to the old bathhouse at the entrance to the beach primarily because of the price tag, said “beachkeeper” Teresa Sarli, who attended the ceremony.
The ribbon-cutting also was used to try to showcase some of the Recreation Department’s summer programs, such as beach volleyball and paddle boarding. And the Barrington Preservation Society sold beach towels and materials about the history of the town.
Only a smattering of people, however, showed up at the 10 am ceremony.