Galveston County is planning to build a $1.8 million pavilion and visitors center near Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula.

The pavilion is planned for Crystal Beach Road, one of the most-visited sections of the peninsula. It will include bathrooms, an air-conditioned service area and a covered patio and picnic area, according to the county.

Commissioners are scheduled to consider a construction contract with Daniels Building & Construction, a Beaumont company, at their regular meeting Monday.

If approved, the building would represent a new type of amenity on the peninsula — fully plumbed bathrooms available to the tens of thousands of beach visitors who travel to the peninsula every year.

The restrooms would be the first major project to be funded by the county’s beach sticker program, which began in 2007, Commissioners Darrell Apffel said.

“This is the culmination of lots of years of hard work and design,” Apffel said.

The county requires people who want to park on Bolivar Peninsula beaches to buy $10 parking passes that expire every Dec. 31.

The beach sticker program was budgeted to collect $911,000 during the current fiscal year, according to the county’s budget.

The county is required to spend money from beach stickers on amenities at the beaches and has used the money to pay for beach cleaning, portable bathrooms and other amenities, Apffel said.

Plans for a permanent structure have been in the works since 2014, officials said.

The project was delayed because of a lengthy approval process required by the state to build a structure near the beach, and because a first bid for the project came back too high for the budget the county originally had in mind for the pavilion, said Julie Diaz, the county’s parks director.

Along with the bathroom and picnic area, the building will include an office and first-aid station. The county hopes to offer educational programs at pavilion, like lessons about what do if you encounter a turtle or dolphin stranded on the beach, Diaz said.

If approved, the pavilion is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2020, in time for the next tourism season, Diaz said.

The pavilion is one of a handful of new amenities planned to be built on Bolivar Peninsula this year. The county also plans to build a new open-air pavilion at Fort Travis Seashore Park and a playground at Gregory Park, Diaz said.

Commissioners are scheduled to meet 9:30 a.m. Monday.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

(3) comments

Byron Barksdale

Better buy storm insurance because the next big hurricane will take it out.

Bailey Jones


James Lippert

Again, many thanks to the hard work of Galveston Co. Commissioner Darrell Apffel!

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