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Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 8:00pm

Jekyll Island Opens Beachfront Park

Jekyll Island is under renovation.

The showcase piece of the project called Great Dunes Park opens Monday.

The renovation of aging island facilities was controversial for several years.

Critics charged its design threatened Jekyll's undeveloped character.

The designs were then changed and now the first part of the project is complete.

Jekyll Island Authority spokesman Eric Garvey says, what's opening Monday is part of a 20 acre beachfront park.

"This part of the project will really demonstrate what our vision is for the rest of the area in terms of the quality, in terms of the environmental sensitivity," Garvey says. "It was important for us to get this park done because this will provide the public with beach access and amenities, restrooms and a big pavilion, while we finish the rest of the beach village."

The next renovated facility to open will be a temporary location for conventions while the island's main convention center is fixed up.

Eventually, the project will also include a retail village and new hotels.