NORTH WILDWOOD — When the city’s Beach Patrol headquarters was built almost 50 years ago, nobody thought to accommodate female lifeguards.

Decades ago, it was exceedingly rare to see women watching over beaches in South Jersey. Even as recently as 1994, there were only five female lifeguards in Atlantic City, four in Cape May and two in Wildwood Crest.

Today, nearly half of North Wildwood’s lifeguards are women, and a bond ordinance set to be introduced at the City Council meeting Tuesday includes $2 million for reconstruction of the headquarters — including a women’s locker room.

The 15th Avenue headquarters is suffering from a lot of maintenance issues and is not up to current flood-elevation levels, Mayor Patrick Rosenello said.

“We’re going to tear it down and completely rebuild it,” Rosenello said. “The current building is in very, very bad shape.”

An engineer estimated it would cost more than $1 million to repair the building, according to a news release from the city. Rosenello said he thinks it makes more sense to just build a new one.

The mayor said the headquarters will be on pilings and include a public restroom, and improve accommodations for female members of the patrol.

“They are using a converted office in the building” as a locker room, Rosenello said.

Rosenello said $2 million is the cap for the project, adding it may cost less. He said construction could start in October after the city completes the bidding process.

The $3.85 million bond ordinance also includes money for beach and dune reconstruction, two bulkhead reconstructions, reconstruction of 15th Avenue and a road resurfacing project.

The bond ordinance is set to be introduced alongside the municipal budget at Tuesday’s meeting. Rosenello said he expects a public hearing and second reading of both at the March 21 meeting.

Contact: 609-272-7411 Twitter @ACPressTomczuk

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments