New look at Gregg Lake

The proposed design for the new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim prepared for the Town of Antrim by Michael Petrovick Architects. 

The proposed design for the new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim prepared for the Town of Antrim by Michael Petrovick Architects.  COURTESY IMAGE TOWN OF ANTRIM/MICHAEL PETROVICK ARCHITECTS

The Antrim Parks and Recreation committee preserved the 1960s-era fish murals from the original Gregg Lake bathhouse when the building was torn down in February. The murals will be incorporated into the new park. 

The Antrim Parks and Recreation committee preserved the 1960s-era fish murals from the original Gregg Lake bathhouse when the building was torn down in February. The murals will be incorporated into the new park.  COURTESY PHOTO ANTRIM PARKS AND RECREATION 

The Gregg Lake public beach and Picnic Point from across the lake, with Antrim Wind in the background.

The Gregg Lake public beach and Picnic Point from across the lake, with Antrim Wind in the background. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The shore of the Antrim Town Beach at Gregg Lake. 

The shore of the Antrim Town Beach at Gregg Lake.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse under construction at the Antrim Town Beach at Gregg Lake. 

The new bathhouse under construction at the Antrim Town Beach at Gregg Lake.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The public boat access at Gregg Lake in Antrim. 

The public boat access at Gregg Lake in Antrim.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake as seen from the picnic area. 

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake as seen from the picnic area.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The construction site at the Antrim Town Beach on Gregg Lake.

The construction site at the Antrim Town Beach on Gregg Lake. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake beach with the parking lot in the foreground.

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake beach with the parking lot in the foreground. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

New bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach.

New bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach with the swimming area in the background. 

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach with the swimming area in the background.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim. 

The new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Construction is underway on the new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim.

Construction is underway on the new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim is slated to be completed by July. 

The new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim is slated to be completed by July.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Architect’s rendering of the new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim.

Architect’s rendering of the new bathhouse at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The Antrim town beach and picnic point on Gregg Lake seen from Gregg Lake Road. 

The Antrim town beach and picnic point on Gregg Lake seen from Gregg Lake Road.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Volunteer Joan Gorga indicates the new design of the Gregg Lake bathhouse. 

Volunteer Joan Gorga indicates the new design of the Gregg Lake bathhouse.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The parking area at Gregg Lake. 

The parking area at Gregg Lake.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The swimming area at the Antrim Town Beach at Gregg Lake. 

The swimming area at the Antrim Town Beach at Gregg Lake.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The bathhouse under construction.

The bathhouse under construction. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

The new bathhouse at Gregg Lake includes a small  enclosed office space for the beach staff. 

The new bathhouse at Gregg Lake includes a small  enclosed office space for the beach staff.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS 

A view of the new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim. 

A view of the new bathhouse under construction at Gregg Lake Beach in Antrim.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

By JESSECA TIMMONS

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 

Published: 05-16-2024 12:08 PM

Antrim residents will have access to a new accessible bathhouse and facilities this summer at the town beach at Gregg Lake.

The new 450-square-foot bathhouse, which is under construction, will replace the old restrooms and maintenance building. The new building includes an ADA ramp, a new staff office, storage, restrooms and changing rooms.

“We are very excited about it,” said Antrim Recreation Department Director Celeste Lunetta. “It is very important for people to know we are adding accessible facilities at the town beach and picnic area.”

Lunetta noted that aside from the small staff office and the ADA ramp, the new bathhouse has the same footprint as the old facility. 

Three years ago, the Town of Antrim received a Land and Water Fund Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act matching grant to improve the facilities at Gregg Lake Beach, which dated to the 1960s. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 established a federally funded program to provide matching financial assistance grants to state and local governments for the purpose acquiring or developing public outdoor recreational areas and facilities. LWCF grants are administered by New Hampshire State Parks. 

According to the Antrim Recreation Department website, all materials and equipment will be sourced from within the United States. The Gregg Lake Beach project will take place in three phases, with the LWCF funds being used for construction of the bathhouse, adding accessible trails and new play equipment to adjacent Picnic Point and making environmental upgrades the parking lot, including filtering and directing runoff away from the lake. 

While the old bathhouse had flush toilets, the new bathhouse will have waterless, dry-vault toilets, which are “very typical of state parks, national parks and rural facilities,” said Recreation Department volunteer Joan Gorga.

“People will probably wonder why the new bathhouse does not have flush toilets like the old bathhouse, and why we had to go to dry-vault toilets. The reason is there nowhere to put a septic system, and there is nowhere for the waste to go, ” Lunetta said. “The well failed, and the groundwater is only three feet down, so we have to keep the sealed tanks to prevent the possibility of contamination of the groundwater.”

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Gorga said the site was ideal for dry-vault toilets due to good air circulation. 

“The beach was all built up on top of wetland,” Gorga said.  “Unfortunately, composting toilets were not an option. They have to be high up, and they are not accessible.  Incinerators were not a good option, either, so vaults were really the only option.” 

Lunetta said the Antrim Highway Department and has been instrumental in the success of the project  and credited the department with excavating, preserving and repairing the old sealed sewage tanks for use with the new bathhouses. She also praised Henniker Septic, who will be pumping out the tanks, for their assistance with the project.

“This is an example of sustainable waterside living. We have been very intentional in our choices and the design of this project,” Lunetta said. “We understand that people need nice facilities at the beach, but we need to be responsible to the environment as well as have  great recreational facilities.” 

The portion of the project funded by LCWF includes the redevelopment of the present parking area, the park entrance and the addition of a new seating area. The existing parking area, which is currently gravel, will be repaved with permeable paving stones to prevent runoff into the lake, and the parking area will be engineered to send stormwater away from the shore. 

Lunetta noted that in a survey to Antrim residents, people voted overwhelmingly to keep the faculties at the beach simple and maintain the rural character of the site. 

“People said ‘keep it simple,’” Lunetta said. “They did not want anything fancy at the beach. They want it to be the way it has always been, consistent with a rural area.”