Andalusia Country Club set to begin renovations with local contractors

Published 9:15 am Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Andalusia Country Club is about to embark on a series of projects aimed at adding more space and convenience for its members and guests with local companies taking the lead in getting it done.

The multi-phase project will be led by locally and woman-owned Advantage Contracting with the first phase set to begin in October with a completion date of late November. The first phase will involve expanding the pool patio to allow for more lounging space as well as renovating the club’s dining room, including the addition of new furniture, according to the club’s general manager, Casey Jones.

“What we want to do is build up our patio area. We built a patio cover several years ago, but we are growing at a rate that we are running out of space around the swimming pool, especially during the summer. We will be widening one side of the patio to match the other side, allowing us to add an additional line of lounge chairs. With that, we will come in with a nice retaining wall that will be lit. This will also provide a much larger area for weddings and other events,” Jones said.

To lead the project, the club looked to Advantage Contracting owner Andrea Baldwin, who along with her husband, Charles, has put together a team of locally-owned businesses to complete the work.

“We are honored to be entrusted with this significant renovation project for the Andalusia Country Club. Our team is dedicated to bringing fresh, contemporary elements to this cherished institution while fostering collaboration with local businesses. We believe this project will not only elevate the country club but also enhance the city’s reputation as a hub of culture and leisure,” Andrea Baldwin said.

What sets the project apart is the dedication to collaboration with numerous local businesses, reflecting Advantage Contracting’s commitment to community engagement and supporting local economic growth. The project brings together a range of skilled suppliers, and local professionals from the Andalusia area, showcasing the region’s talent and craftsmanship. The local subcontracting “dream team” that will be led by Advantage Contracting include Premier Construction and Contracting, King Landscaping and Pools, Salter Contracting, Alexander Electric and Plumbing, and the project engineer is Gary Tillman, P.E.

According to the Baldwins, the centerpiece of the renovation project is the pool deck area, where a new retaining wall, deck, and new lighting will transform the space into a modern and inviting oasis. “Members and guests alike can look forward to enjoying leisurely afternoons and vibrant evenings in an ambiance of unparalleled sophistication,” Andrea said.

Additionally, she said the interior main dining room is poised for a remarkable transformation, ensuring that the Andalusia Country Club continues to provide an elegant dining experience to its patrons.

Charles and Andrea moved to Andalusia in 2014 and began Advantage Contracting in 2020, beginning with several government contracts as well as local projects, including working with the city on environmental work at the Timmerman Building and the library in downtown Andalusia. The duo makes a good team with Charles having an extensive construction background and Andrea working the business side of things, holding a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“We are blessed to be involved in this project and to have such a great team working with us on the project,” Andrea said.

“The sub-contractors we have on the project really are a dream team. They are booked up 8 to 10 months out, so being able to get them all together for this project is fantastic,” Charles added.

Both said they are proud to be involved in a project that will have a lasting impact for the community.

“This renovation project is expected to create a buzz of excitement throughout Andalusia, drawing visitors and residents to experience the newly revamped country club. It is a shining example of how community involvement, local partnerships, and skilled craftsmanship can come together to create something truly remarkable. As the renovation project takes shape, Andalusia can look forward to an even brighter future for this iconic establishment and the entire city,” Andrea said.

For the country club, the project is the latest in its effort to create a welcoming atmosphere for its growing membership.

“We are always working on things that will increase the value of the club, to increase the amenities for our members, and make it more attractive to prospective members,” Jones said. “We’ve had a lot of success growing our membership in recent years, going from 220 members in 2020 to now having over 370. We hope to be close to 400 by the end of the year.”

While the country club is known for its top-notch 18-hole golf course, Jones said most members join for the other amenities. He said the club’s golfers make up about 40 percent of the total membership, with the remaining enjoying the other things the club has to offer.

“We love our golf course, but we also have brand new tennis courts we did in 2022, a huge swimming pool and a full-service restaurant with top-notch food and service. We want people to know we are not just a golf course. We are so much more than that,” Jones said.

While the current list of projects does not include the golf course, Jones said that is due in large part to the work of John Wirnsberger, who joined the club’s staff about two years ago as the greens superintendent. “He has done a fabulous job. One of the things people — especially our golfers — have noticed the most are the improvements and quality of our golf course,” Jones said.

Jones said after speaking with Andrea and Charles about the vision for the renovation projects, it made perfect sense to let them lead the project.

“They are members here and that means they have skin in the game. They want to make sure it looks good, too. After they shared with us their vision for the project, we knew we found the right people for the job,” Jones said.

Improvements at the club will continue into 2024 with a second and third phase of the overall project. Phase two will include revamping two banquet rooms while phase three will involve the lounge and kitchen areas. Jones said the projects would likely take place about mid-year, working around the needs of its membership and scheduled events.

The projects are a testament to the club’s board of directors, who Jones said are committed to creating a welcoming atmosphere for current members as well as those who join in the future.

“We are fortunate to have board that sees the big picture,” Jones said. “They want to invest in the club and make it something our community can be proud of for many years to come.”