Meeting scheduled on waterfront construction

The city has scheduled a public meeting to start the design of the anticipated new harbormaster and visiting boater facility to be constructed on the fish pier at the eastern end of the central waterfront. The meeting is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Newburyport City Hall auditorium, 60 Pleasant St. The city has contracted with the architectural firm of Olson Lewis +, and Keery Design to provide design services for the project. This first meeting is intended to give interested residents an opportunity to ask questions, provide input, and explore various aspects of the project with designers and city staff. At this early stage in the process, no decisions have been regarding the structure’s size, amenities, materials, or exact siting. The existing harbormaster’s office receives roughly 5,000 visitors per year, according to a written statement released by the mayor’s office; the current 450-square-foot, single-story structure is not sufficient to meet this demand. The new facility could be up to 2,000 square feet and allow for a customer service area on the ground level with room for two or three staff members. The cost of the new facility, which is expected to be $600,000 to $800,000 according to preliminary estimates, will be financed by boater revenues from the harbormaster enterprise account. City officials say they hope to complete design and permitting by the fall. For more information, visit the “News & Announcements” section on the mayor’s Web page at