State discussion on Lucy the elephant’s reception center will not take place until at least June | Local News


A discussion by the New Jersey Board of Historic Sites on a new feature for Margate’s Lucy the Elephant will not take place in April, as originally announced.

Richard Helfant, CEO and executive director of the Save Lucy committee, said Tuesday that there was no date set for a state hearing on a proposal to build an ADA visitor interpretive center for Lucy. He told The Press of Atlantic City that the committee would try to submit a plan for the reception center by April 26, so the hearing could take place at the June HSC meeting. If this deadline does not allow sufficient time for the committee to prepare its plan, the hearing will take place at the next CSS meeting in August.

The agenda for the HSC’s April meeting, which was sent to The Press on March 23, had Lucy’s hearing as the only business listed.

Plans for a new ADA Visitor Center come as the local landmark undergoes renovations.

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Lucy was closed for repairs in September after it was discovered that her metal skin had fallen into disrepair and needed replacing. The renovation efforts were supported by a $500,000 “Save America’s Treasures” grant from the National Park Service, which was awarded to the Save Lucy Committee in October. For most of the past six months, Lucy has been protected by scaffolding as crews set to work on repairs.

Lucy briefly reopened for holiday visits as repair work was suspended due to late delivery of building materials.

Helfant said Lucy would open again for tours on Memorial Day weekend – although scaffolding would still encase the elephant until repairs were completed several months later. He said the scaffolding is tentatively expected to be taken down in August, although the construction schedule may require it to remain in place for longer.

Construction of the ADA Center cannot begin until all ongoing repair projects at the site are complete. Helfant said work should begin on the new center by September 2023.

Contact Chris Doyle

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