Rain slows work at lake

Published 11:59 pm Monday, April 20, 2009

It will be another three weeks before residents will see the emergence of the building that will become Florala State Park’s new amphitheater and community center.

Project manager W.H. “Billy” McDaniel said earlier this month that the first bout of severe weather had not impacted the lake project, but after two additional weeks of weather, the “4 to 6 inches of rain did us in,” he said Monday.

Initially, the prefab building that will be the amphitheater and community center was set to arrive April 6. Now, members of the Air Force’s Innovative Response Team (IRT), which will be performing the work, say it will be three weeks before construction begins.

“Right now, as of today, we’re ready to pour concrete,” McDaniel said. “After the rain finally stopped, it looked like it was going to push back the (July 31) finish date back eight days, but we’ve made most of that time up.

“We’ve spent the last week repairing the damage done after the weather,” he said. “All the dirt that was washed away had to be re-hauled back in and packed for the foundation. We’re on schedule with what we can do at this point,” he said. “Now, we’re ready to move, so folks will soon see a concrete floor.”

McDaniel said that as with any construction project, progress is dictated by the weather.

“I hope that it works out right,” he said. “After we get the foundation poured with the plumbing and electrical installed, it won’t be long before we see some progress with the building going up — three weeks, that’s what they’re telling me before the building goes up.”

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

The group, which consists of an estimated 30 workers from various Air Force bases around the country, began work in March and will rotate out on a two-week cycle until the project is completed.