IRT starting next week

Published 12:20 am Thursday, March 5, 2009

Members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command’s Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, the group responsible for the labor on Florala’s Lake Jackson State Park amphitheater project, will begin arriving tomorrow.

Residents have noticed a distinct change to the shorelines of the Lake Jackson. All the buildings, including the ladies’ clubhouse, were removed over the last few weeks, and trees have been removed to allow for the construction of the 11,500 square-foot building.

In September 2008, the State Parks Joint Legislative Committee approved the $1 million project to build a multi-purpose community building and amphitheater. The IRT program has committed an additional $1 million in labor and equipment.

The group, consisting of an estimated 30 workers from California, will begin Friday and will continue to arrive throughout the weekend. They will be housed in a hotel in Opp. On Monday, they will begin work.

“This is the first group of soldiers that people will see,” said Bonnie Brown, Florala Utilities public relations director. “They will responsible for the ground and site work for the project.

“Things are really starting to move on this project,” she said. “It’s very exciting to watch.”

Thus far, all of the work on the project, including demolition of the buildings, has been provided at no cost, Brown said.