After 15 years of fundraising and planning, the restoration of World War II Artillery Fire Control Tower No. 3 at Dewey Beach is about to begin.
Foundation board member Ernie Felici notes that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has really pushed them to launch the project now.
“We also felt at this point with COVID and the price of materials and construction that this was our real window of opportunity to do this. Because if we didn’t move forward, our fear was – again – that prices would have gone up another few hundred thousand dollars and we’d be kicking the street at the point where we couldn’t really afford it,” Félici said.
The restoration effort is expected to cost $1.1 million and includes modifications to the interior of Tower No. 3
DSPF President Larry Brown said preliminary work had been underway for two years and the contractor, Delmarva Veteran Builders, was ready to begin interior work.
“The tower as it was originally built – when it was inhabited – there were ladders that ran the full distance from the ground up to the rooftop observation deck. And naturally, we don’t we can’t let visitors climb the ladders so they (the contractor) go and the new design has a number of winding stairs inside,” Brown said.
In addition to the stairs, steel landing pads will be installed for interpretive exhibits and a new rooftop observation deck will be constructed.
Work by Delmarva Veteran Builders is expected to be completed in early summer 2022.