ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – A $3.4 million project to replace Bathhouse Building No. 1 at Magens Bay Park on the north end of St. Thomas has been approved thanks to collaboration between the territory, Magens Bay Authority, and FEMA. In September 2017, winds and wind-driven debris from hurricanes Irma and Maria damaged the one-story bathhouse at the beach, which is nestled between two emerald-green peninsulas.
Only three walls of the bathhouse survived the two Category 5 hurricanes. Only the facility's cistern remains today after the building was demolished.
FEMA's Public Assistance and Environmental and Historic Preservation teams collaborated with the territory and the Magens Bay Authority on a scope of work agreement to replace Bathhouse No. 1. A final site inspection of the bathhouse revealed a septic system and a large concrete slab, necessitating revisions of the original detailed drawings and dimensions to the scope of work.
“The collaborative effort of the Magens Bay Authority, the territory, FEMA, and its federal partners to approve the bathhouse replacement project exemplifies the ongoing work to recover from the 2017 hurricanes. We are honored to be a part of this project and eagerly await the opening of the new bathhouse,” said U.S. Virgin Islands Recovery Director Kristen Hodge.
“The Board of Directors and management of the Magens Bay Authority thanks all the participants for their technical assistance on this project. It remains the Authority’s intent to remove what is remaining of Bathhouse Building No. 1 and rebuild a facility that more closely resembles the Authority’s other bathhouse facility at Smith Bay Park on St. Thomas,” said Magens Bay Authority.
“Magens Bay Park, with its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters of Magens Bay, and 319-acre watershed, attracts 300,000 visitors each year, enhancing the beauty of the Virgin Islands,” said Magens Bay Authority.
According to the Magens Bay Authority, a new facility will be constructed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), International Building (IBC) and territorial codes. Plans for the new elevated structure are designed to meet ADA and flood-plain requirements with a ramp and sidewalk to meet requirements.
The federal share for the bathhouse project is $3 million and the non-federal share is $342,690.
As of May 23, 2022, FEMA has obligated $4.1 billion toward infrastructure repairs in the U.S. Virgin Islands since the September 2017 hurricanes. This includes $1.8 billion for emergency projects and $1.75 billion toward permanent work through the Public Assistance Program.
The turquoise waters of Magens Bay stand out amid two emerald-green peninsulas on the north end of St. Thomas. FEMA will provide $3 million for Magens Bay Authority to replace a demolished bathhouse damaged at Magens Bay Beach by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. FEMA photo