Lake project work still on schedule

Published 11:59 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

Recent flooding at Florala Lake Jackson State Park has not impacted the construction timeline for the $2 million amphitheater and community center project.

The more than 10 inches of rain received in the south end of the county at the beginning of the week was enough to push the waters of Lake Jackson past its shores and picnic pavilions. The rainwater quickly receded, but it was enough to cause members of the U.S. Air Force’s Innovative Response Team (IRT) a bit of worry.

“Needless to say, it gave them a bit of a start to see all that water, and there was a lot of water surrounding that lake,” said W.H. “Billy” McDaniel, project director. “But there was enough men and equipment down there to make quick work of the clean up.”

On Friday, the second crew of IRT members from California’s March AFB spent most of the day cleaning up after the storm. The IRT program committed $1 million in labor and equipment use after the State Parks Joint Legislative Committee approved $1 million to build a multi-purpose community building and amphitheatre in September 2008.

IRT members will be finishing the site preparation work in the coming days, and McDaniel said concrete for the structure’s foundation will be poured next week.

“We are on schedule for the April 6 installation of the building,” he said. “We had enough leeway in the contract for some weather days that all that rain didn’t really push us back at all.”

The project is slated for completion on July 31.