Columbia County officials likely will move forward with the construction of an interpretive center at Reed Creek Park.
Elmer Stewart and Lara Wilson walk one of the trails at Reed Creek Park in Martinez. County officials approved hiring a design firm Monday to create drawings for an interpretive center to be built at the park.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
At a Public Works Committee meeting Monday, county commissioners approved hiring a design firm to create construction drawings of the center. The motion will appear before the full Columbia County Board of Commissioners on March 29 as a consent agenda item.
"This is a 1,500-square-foot building that's going on the site," said Barry Smith, the county's director of community and leisure services. "It will be surrounded by a deck that goes all the way around the building and has vantage points to look out.
"It will basically be an interpretive center with a classroom where different groups can hold meetings or have educational settings."
The center also will hold an office and a water-testing laboratory for the county's Adopt-A-Stream program.
If approved by the full commission, the county will pay Augusta-based Studio 3 Design Group $21,000 for architectural drawings, Smith said.
Actual construction will cost about $225,000 and the center could be completed in as soon as six months, Smith said.
"It's going to be a wonderful educational park to learn about wetland habitats," he said.
Also at the Public Works Committee meeting, county officials agreed to place future road projects on the consent agenda for the next commission meeting.
Sections of Washington and North Belair roads will be widened if the full commission agrees to the measures.
"The one on North Belair, at the intersection with Ronald Reagan (Drive), we're going to put in a center turn lane and a traffic signal," said Kevin Lear, director of the county's construction and maintenance division.
"It's going to a help there, because a lot of traffic is going that way," he said.
The county also plans to extend Washington Road's center turn lane from Ronald Reagan Drive to Fieldstone Way, just past the Evans Wal-Mart.
"Not having a center turn lane is causing a lot of rear-end accidents," Lear said.
The combined cost of the projects is about $935,000. Work on the roads could start as soon as April and be completed in September or October, Lear said.
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