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Weathering The Storm

Nikon Theatre reopens after Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, May 30 was the official grand reopening of the Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre more than a half year after suffering the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy. After months of reconstruction at a cost of $20 million the Theatre is ready to open its doors to concertgoers. Country-pop superstars, Rascal Flatts, who were to headline the concert season with an opening show that Friday night was also on hand to spread the word.

“The amount of work that went into rebuilding and reconstructing this great concert venue was absolutely amazing,” said Live Nation representative John Ahrens.

It took an intense effort between Live Nation, Zurich Insurance Company, EwingCole Architects, Skanska Construction Company and the New York State Parks Department to get the required drawings, permits and other approvals in a very short time frame.

Before construction efforts could begin, more than three million gallons of seawater had to be pumped out of the venue, after which everything then needed to be cleaned from top to bottom. Over a hundred tons of debris and damaged structures and equipment had to be removed from the site. The stage and boardwalk had to be completely rebuilt from scratch.

Some of the things that were rebuilt and replaced were the main electrical switch gear system, concession infrastructure such as ovens, grills, fryers and countertops, venue passenger elevators and more than 200 doors throughout the main level and backstage. New artificial turf and brick walkways were installed along with new concert viewing decks and backstage dressing rooms and catering areas for artists that are themed after a marine and beach motif.

“It would be impossible for a project of this scope and under this kind of time frame to succeed without the intense collaborative effort between all of the companies and government agencies involved,” said Ahrens. “It shows how much can be accomplished if everyone involved shares the same vision and puts in the hard work to help recover from the storm.”

The project helped create 225 jobs for local workers, contractors, vendors and union laborers in Nassau County with many of the workers living in the areas hardest hit by Sandy.