Commissioners Approve Contract for Oakfuskee Conservation Center Project
On Tuesday evening, the Troup County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Sheridan Construction for the Oakfuskee Conservation Center at Pyne Road Park.
Sheridan was awarded the Construction as the Construction Manager Risk for the project in February and has since been working with Troup County Staff and Architect Skip Smith for pre-construction services and determines and to finalize designs for the conservation center. The commissioners approved a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) with Sheridan to complete the project for $11,196,202.
Funding for the project will partially come from a $1.5 million grant from the Callaway Foundation and a Department of Natural Resources Grant of $1.8 million. The remainder of the funding will come from monies set aside by the county as well as Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax V (SPLOST) funds and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
Plans for the new conservation center include a 9,865 square-foot first floor and a 9,795 square-foot basement with a 4,640 square-foot outdoor covered patio. A paved parking lot will also be constructed with approximately 259 spots.
The main floor of the center will feature a banquet area with room for over 300 seats, a covered porch, grand foyer, offices, catering kitchen, and restrooms. The lower level, which will open out to the lakeke, will have several multi-purpose rooms for classrooms and bride/grooms rooms for wedding rentals, along with additional restrooms, storage rooms, and mechanical rooms.
The county plans to use the center for educational opportunities and as an event center.
An amphitheater was included in original designs for the project when the original master plan was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in in 2008, but increasing construction costs forced that idea to be something to potentially add in the future.
“The good news is that we can add [the amphitheater] later because it’s already been approved by the Corps of Engineers,” noted County Manager Eric Mosley.
Mosley advised that they expect the event center to be ran as an enterprise and it will pay for its own upkeep and operations. The county hopes that renting out the facility for weddings and other events will help pay for future improvements.
The county plans to begin advertising the center for future rentals well before construction is scheduled to be completed in late 2023.
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