Construction begins at Onset Bathhouse

Apr 2, 2019

Workers are transforming the historic Onset Bathhouse into the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s new Onset Bay Discovery Center.  

The Buzzards Bay Coalition’s plan to transform the historic building into a new hub of outdoor learning is inching closer to reality as crews from Valle Group construction begin interior and foundational work on the building.

Crews will stop work for the summer season from June through Labor Day so that beach-goers can enjoy the season. By then, crews hope to have completed work restoring the bluff and planting on the bluff and in the park.

“We want to try to make it as enjoyable a summer as possible,” said Mike Robotham of Valle Group.

Nemasket Kayak will be renting kayaks from the location this summer, but will be operating out of a trailer next to the bathhouse rather than the building itself.

Construction began in November, but faced delays over the winter months. Currently, crews are working on the foundation, sidewalks, irrigation, plumbing, plantings, staircases, and framing.

Before work stops, crews will move the fencing as close to the building as possible so that residents and summer visitors can enjoy the park.

“We don’t want to be a nuisance on the beach over the summer,” said Buzzards Bay Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said that the organization hopes to have work completed for a full programming launch in Spring 2020.

This summer, most of the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s programming in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club and CARE will be based on Wicket Island. CARE offers a variety of learning opportunities for students with strong focuses on community, academics, recreation and enrichment. A variety of CARE programs take place both after school and during the summer.

Participants in these programs will meet on the pier before taking a boat out to the island to sail, explore, and learn about ecology.

The Coalition will also be hosting many programs for adults and families in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends in June and later in August when camps aren’t in session. The schedules for this programming will be announced soon.

“The Onset Bay Discovery Center idea is really trying to meet an unmet need for youth, but not just youth,” said Rasmussen, who explained that the coalition aims to provide programming for everyone in the community.

For more information about the project and upcoming programming, go to