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Proposed changes to Crystal Beach Pavilion move forward

Stellar money to be used to make second floor
a usable space

(January 2020) – On Thursday, Dec. 12, Madison, Ind., residents had the opportunity to learn more about an upcoming project that will bring updates and changes to a longtime city landmark – Crystal Beach Pavilion. At an open house held in the Council Chambers, interested citizens were able to ask questions and see the renovation plans for Crystal Beach.
This project is part of Madison’s Stellar Communities Designation, a partnership that works with multiple funding agencies in Indiana to improve smaller communities around the state. Madison was deemed a Stellar Community in October 2017 after submitting a Strategic Investment Plan in August of that year.

Nicole Schell


The plan detailed their projects for the community and potential costs. The Stellar Plan covers seven categories that cover multiple areas of improvement around the city, ranging from increasing educational initiatives to enhancing major corridors around Madison.
Crystal Beach falls within the Destination Development portion of Madison’s Stellar plan, a category that strives to “improve Madison’s reputation as a destination for tourism and is primarily focused on downtown,” according to Stellar Madison’s website. The Destination Development projects will also focus on items such as creating and developing Georgetown Memorial Park and redeveloping the hilltop’s Playground for All Children for accessibility.
The primary focus of the changes at Crystal Beach is to provide improved American Disabilities Act access within the building and to the pool deck.
“This project will also provide ADA access to the section floor, which does not currently exist,” said Nicole Schell, City Planner for the City of Madison. The architectural plans were originally created by R&B Architects of Indianapolis.
The project will also bring some needed updates to the pool’s locker rooms. “The design changes include removal of all existing plumbing fixtures and other amenities located within the locker rooms. The floors of the locker rooms will be removed and re-laid to allow for flat access to the pool deck,” said Schell.
All of these changes are being made with accessibility in mind, including the addition of an elevator for ADA access to the second floor. “On the exterior, a new elevator will be constructed on the east with a glass connection to the building. The second story will receive new ADA restrooms and a catering kitchen,” she said.

Photo by Sydney G. Wilson

Brent Mather of R&B Architects in Indianapolis stands beside renderings he presented at the open house.



These changes also offer the possibility of the pool house being used in the offseason. “By adding additional doors, the restroom portions of the first floor could be opened for other events during the year while the pool is closed without allowing access to the pool deck,” said Schell.
Prior to the open house, Schell said that she was looking forward to obtaining feedback from community members on this project. “We hope to receive positive feedback on the proposed changes to the first and second floors of the pool house,” she said. Schell said she anticipated a lot of comments about the elevator and how the changes will continue to reflect the history of the building. “We hope the public will appreciate the design as it blends in with the building but the glass connection ensures the historic structure stands out,” she said. 
Crystal Beach staff alongside the architect, Brent Mather of R&B Architects, will review all comments received at the open house.
“They will determine which changes to the design are needed to provide the best option for the community. Any changes will then be presented the Park Board and the Stellar Executive Team,” said Schell.
Schell sees how the community and Crystal Beach itself will benefit from these changes. “I think the proposed changes will improve the use of Crystal Beach Pool House because currently, the second story is wasted space,” said Schell. “The addition of the elevator will allow people of all abilities to enjoy the second floor, which could be used for almost anything. The changes to the first floor will improve the flow within the facility by removing the ADA barriers.”
Madison Mayor Bob Courtney echoed her statements, saying, “The preservation and expansion of use of Crystal Beach is a high priority for the City of Madison. Crystal Beach has served our community well for decades and with the proposed investment, it will provide our community and visitors with an attractive, safe, ADA accessible, and historic property for many years to come.”
Schell said she looks forward to busy months ahead as this project moves forward. “As city planner, I oversee all the Stellar Community project implementation, and this project is no different. My next role in this project will be to complete the historic preservation review at both the local and state levels and to act as the liaison between the designers or contractors and the city government.”
Schell said that she anticipates the design plans being complete in spring 2020, with construction beginning in fall 2020.

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