Jenness State Beach Redevelopment Project

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July 12, 2018 Update

The Governor and Executive Council approved the contract with Careno Construction Company on Wednesday 7/11/18. Work is expected to begin after Labor Day, updates about parking restrictions and other temporary closures will be shared weekly once work starts.

July 9, 2018 Update

On Wednesday July 11th the contract for the Jenness Bathhouse Replacement and Parking Lot Improvements will be on the agenda for the Governor and Executive Council meeting.

Agenda Item #56, Authorize the Division of Public Works Design and Construction to enter into a contract with Careno Construction Co., LLC, Portsmouth, NH, for the Jenness Bathhouse Replacement and Parking Lot Improvements, Rye, NH, for a total price not to exceed $998,400. Effective upon G&C approval through May 22, 2019. 51% General – Capital, 49% Other Funds. (2)Further authorize a contingency in the amount of $150,000 for unanticipated expense, bringing the total to $1,148,400. 69.55% General, 30.45% Other Funds. (3)Further authorize the amount of $45,000 for payment to the Department of Administrative Services, Division of Public Works Design and Construction, for engineering services provided, bringing the total to $1,193,400. 79% General – Capital, 21% Other Funds. (4)Further authorize the transfer of $5,000 to the State Art Fund within the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, for the purchase of art for the Jenness Bathhouse, Rye, NH. 100% General – Capital Funds.

April 16, 2018 Update

Design and engineering is complete for the redesigned bathhouse and an invitation to bid has been issued by the NH Division of Public Works. Bids are due to the Division of Public Works on May 2, 2018 and work is expected to begin after Labor Day. Project completion date is May 22, 2019.

The Division of Parks and Recreation is still in the process of cleaning up Jenness State Beach after the 3 nor’easters that pummeled the seacoast in March. The sidewalk along the seawall was removed rather than repaired due to the extensive damage. Parking bumpers will be installed to prevent cars from parking against the seawall.

Visitors to the seacoast state parks should exercise caution as the storms created a number of hazards including debris, pavement upheaval, cracks and uneven surfaces. Park staff and contractors are working to repair damage and cleanup debris and the Division requests that visitors give staff and equipment room to work.

December 13, 2017 Update

The comment period for the 2017 Jenness State Beach bathhouse and site improvements proposed design closed in mid-September and since then we’ve reviewed each comment and evaluated which changes can be accommodated.

The following changes to the 2017 design will be implemented;
  1. Widen the pedestrian walkway to 36 inches between the seawall and the bollard.
  2. Widen the pedestrian passage from the parking lot to the bathhouse plaza.
  3.  Add a rack for surf boards at bathhouse for temporary storage when using facilities.
  4.  Provide motorcycle parking spaces.
  5.  Add pavement marking in no parking areas.
  6.  Add a third changing stall.
  7.  Add a pedestrian stile and access at north end of seawall to facilitate access to the beach.
You may know that there was a redevelopment plan for the site proposed in 2016 that for several reasons was not implemented.
There were five design changes from the original 2016 plan that are included the 2017 plan;
  1. The square footage of the bathhouse has been reduced.
  2. The length of the bathhouse along Ocean Boulevard has been reduced.
  3. The cupola on the roof has been eliminated, reducing the total roof height.
  4. The direction of travel will remain south to north in the parking lot.
  5. The walkway along the seawall has been retained.
A response to comments can be viewed HERE.

New timeline
  • Design Development: December 2017 – April 2018
  • Out-to-Bid: May 2018
  • Bid opening: June 2018
  •  Governor and Council Approval: September 2018
  • Construction Start: September 2018
  • Construction Completion: June 2019

August 24, 2017

Many thanks to the attendees who came to the August 9th public information session. We would like to make a correction to the timeline presented at the meeting. The division will be attending the Rye Planning Board meeting on September 12th, not September 5th. The agenda for the September 12th planning board meeting is posted on their webpage.

Public Comment about the project is requested. Deadline to provide comment is September 15, 2017and may be sent to
Public Information Session Presentation: August 9, 2017

July 2017 Update

The Division is pleased to announce that $1,000,000 in capital budget funding for the Jenness State Beach bathhouse has been appropriated in this biennium’s budget to construct a new toilet building and upgrade the parking lot. A public information session will be held on August 9, 2017, 6:00 pm at the Rye Public Library to discuss the design.

The Jenness State Beach bathhouse was constructed in 1980. There is a 70 car parking lot adjacent to the bathhouse; however, the facility serves a much greater population with over 400 cars parking along Ocean Boulevard, adjacent streets and in private lots (approximately 1,400 people per day) within a 15 minute walk.

The new design was the result of conversations the Division had with elected officials and other stakeholders about the Jenness Beach redevelopment project. A building and site design has been designed to accommodate the visitors to the beach that is also now fully compliant with current ADA standards. This design update incorporates suggestions by visitors and residents including keeping the parking lot direction the same, providing an universally accessible walkway along the seawall and limiting the length of the building along the roadway.
Below is a comparison of the existing facility the 2016 design and the NEW 2017 design.

Existing Structure 2016 Proposed Facility  2017 Proposed Facility 
Foot Print
11 feet by 36 feet
41 feet by 42 feet  26 feet by 40 feet 
Square Feet
443 square feet
1,094 square feet  1,040 square feet 
10 feet
18 feet to ridge
25 feet to peak of cupola
17 feet 2 inches
Distance from
Property Line

0 feet
28 feet  23 feet
Width Along Road
11 feet
41 feet 26 feet 
Women's Room
4 toilets/1 sink
5 toilets/ 1 multiport sink  5 toilets/ 1 multiport sink
Men's Room
1 toilet/2 urinals/1 sink
2 toilets/3urinals
1 multiport sink 
2 toilets/3urinals
1 multiport sink 
Number of Family

1 1
Number of
Changing Rooms

1 men's / 0 women's
3 unisex
4 unisex  2 unisex
Questions? Comments? or 603-271-3556

May 2017 Update

The implementation of the Jenness Beach redevelopment project was delayed due to the filing of an injunction by the abutters for the construction of the bathhouse and parking lot improvements. While the decision by Merrimack County Superior Court was granted in the state’s favor in late November, it was too late for the contractor to meet the construction and budget schedule as planned to open the new facilities in June of 2017.

This past winter the Division has been in discussion with the Governor’s office, the legislature and other stakeholders about the Jenness Beach redevelopment project. In addition, we’ve been working with the design and engineering consultants to explore other sites and design for the facility. In the next few months, if funding is provided in the state capital budget, we will be reaching out to the public to discuss our plans. Thank you and have a great summer!

October 2016 Update

The Governor and Executive Council met today and approved the contract with SMART Assistive Technologies LLC for the Jenness Bathhouse replacement and parking lot improvements. At today’s meeting the Governor and Executive Councilors were given a schematic model to show the location, height and size of the new building (of course it is best to use the scaled site and construction plans for exact placement).

Senator Stiles Letter
Jenness Beach Bath Site Overlay Model 
Jenness Beach Presentation August 31, 2016 
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Site Plan (Revised) (4 MB)
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Plan Set, part 1 (7 MB)
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Plan Set, part 2 (9 MB)
State Fire Marshall Letter
Jenness Beach Project DES Waiver Letter
Rye Planning Board Meeting Minutes, May 10, 2016

Town of Rye Ocean Boulevard Corridor Parking Assessment Study
NH Coastal Byway Corridor Management Plan
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Permit Plan 
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Wetlands Permit Application
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Schematic Plan (4 MB)
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Concept Plan (aerial view)
Jenness Beach Bathhouse Fact Sheet