Village of Lawrence officials are still unsure about what to with the heavily storm-damaged clubhouse on Causeway, with the options being repairing it or knocking it down and starting over.
“We’re looking at all the possibilities. Should it be razed or heightened?” Mayor Martin Oliner said at the village board’s meeting on Tuesday. “We really don’t know fully what we’re doing right now.”
Village officials said they’ve yet to decide whether they should get the clubhouse building up and running by April 1 at a cost between $300,000 to $500,000, or to knock it down and build a new clubhouse. The building had been a venue for many family events, as well as for a few community organizations. Many architects who looked at the building told village officials that the building should be razed.
“Now is the time to do it,” Trustee Saul Langer said about building a brand new building. “The community needs it.”
The village-owned Lawrence Yacht and Country Club building was closed indefinitely after the storm hit. All of the carpets and sheet rock up to five feet on the first floor had to be ripped out due to flooding. Appliances and furniture also have to be replaced. And electrical work will have to be done as many of the panels were in the basement.
Meanwhile, work was set to begin at the tennis club, which was under six feet of water. The ramps, docks and boardwalk at the marina “were tossed around like toys,” according to Leo McMahon, general manager of the club. The club’s 80 golf carts were also flooded, but McMahon joked that it was “great news” because the carts were old.
The golf course, for the most part, was not affected by the storm.
Responding to why the demolition work too so long to start, Village Administrator David Smollet said many of the contractors bidding on the work were asking for as much as tenfold the expected price in the weeks after the storm. The prices went down later. The village’s insurance would only cover up to a certain amount, Oliner said, adding that FEMA has been hard to work with.
Should the village decide to build a brand new clubhouse, golfers would be able to make use of trailers and tents in the interim.
The golf course will be open during the winter, McMahon said, with 10 golf carts available. Many of the clubs workers will be off for the season. The marina and tennis club is expected to reopen April 1 no matter what decision the village makes.