It's not business as usual this summer at Lewes Yacht Club, but staff and board members are making the most of the disruptions a large construction project has on the club's operations during its busiest season.
The project, which started in early fall 2022, hit delays early, and a plan to have Phase 1 completed by the summer was not realized. Construction was planned to stop during the summer and continue in the fall, but that also has not happened, as construction is ongoing.
Club General Manager Greg Raschdorf said because of the location of the club between Delaware Bay and the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, additional state permits were required, which held up the project about three months. In addition, the footprint of the existing building could not be expanded, so going higher was the only alternative.
“Our lot is maxed out,” the general manager said.
Raschdorf said the main goal now is to get the upper-level roof finished, and the new section enclosed and sealed up so work can commence on the interior.
Raschdorf said the original completion date of spring 2024 is still planned because of the work being done during the summer. Once lower-section work is completed, the existing upstairs will be closed and all dining will take place in the lower level.
“You have to do what you can to make it work,” Raschdorf said. “And everyone has been very cooperative.”
Changes in routine
With the pool's bathhouse, snack bar and part of the outside deck not completed, modifications have been made. The club offers a Grille on the Green in the front courtyard, and has placed a portable, air-conditioned bathroom at the temporary entrance to the pool.
Raschdorf said Lewes inspectors have worked with the club to allow the setting up of temporary construction walls to separate work crews from areas that club members are using, including the pool and a section of the recently completed upper deck.
The biggest impact has been on parking spaces, with a large section of parking serving as a staging area for the construction crew.
Because of the smaller pool deck size and limited parking, the LYC swim team is swimming its home meets at the Sussex County YMCA pool in Rehoboth Beach.
Since the pool's mechanical room was demolished, a temporary filtering system was constructed prior to Memorial Day.
A section of expanded deck was opened over the Fourth of July holiday, offering new seating overlooking Delaware Bay.
The LYC project
Work will expand and enhance the upper and lower levels of the clubhouse, including a new bathhouse at the first level – nearly every area of the club is getting some attention. The project will provide more dining space inside and outside, expand the bars, and create three- and four-season dining rooms, with a new multipurpose room on the second floor of the new section.
All other existing rooms, including the dining room, will get a makeover, and the upstairs dining room will be expanded with folding-glass windows between the deck and the dining room to allow more dining options.
The existing screened porch is being converted to a four-season indoor/outdoor patio terrace with seating capacity of 64.
Folding-glass wall panels will allow the patio terrace to open into the remodeled and expanded regatta room and the new Squid Bar, adding 130 more seats.
Remodeling will take place at the entrance, lobby and dining room. New landscaping is also planned.
The pool deck will be expanded by 750 square feet.
A full basement will provide storage space, which is at a premium right now.
Current conference room and storage rooms will be removed to provide space for the multipurpose room.
Dating back to 1932
LYC, founded in August 1932 by 17 charter members, has grown from a sailing association to a full-service facility with more than 600 members, a pool, marina, sailing school, swim team, weekly racing and dining. Dues the first year were $3 and the first clubhouse was built in 1938.
The current clubhouse opened in 2005, and in 2016-17, the pool was rebuilt, and new deck pavers and fencing were added.
Over the first 74 years, the original clubhouse was used and expanded and renovated, and a lot of the early work was done by volunteers. The pool and bathhouse opened in 1987. It's the same bathhouse that was recently torn down.