Construction of a new park in Evans might soon get under way.
During a meeting Tuesday of the Columbia County Community and Emergency Services Committee, commissioners accepted a bid of more than $3.2 million to build Evans Town Center Park, on the field behind Kroger in Evans. The full commission is expected to approve the bid at its next meeting, on Sept. 7.
The bid from Statesboro, Ga.-based Dabbs-Williams General Contractors LLC came in low enough to include all amenities intended for the park, officials said.
Worried that bids might come in for more than what was budgeted for the project, county officials had separated the construction elements of the park with the intention of paying only what the $3.3 million set aside from sales tax funding would allow.
"We had seven alternates in addition to the base bid, which included site work, utilities and basic infrastructure. ... Fortunately, we can do all the alternates," said county Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith.
The park will also include restrooms, a concession stand, a zero-depth water fountain, a playground, an amphitheater, a dog park, and seat walls -- seating carved into the earth.
Officials unveiled an ambitious park master plan in January 2008, but the $8 million price tag forced them to scale down the amenities for the 15-acre park on Evans Town Center Boulevard.
"I'm hoping we'll get a contract out in September and start construction in October," Smith said.
If all goes well, Smith said, park construction might conclude by September 2011.
During construction, the park's users can cross the street to continue their activities. Last month, county officials purchased 26 acres of the Marshall Square site. Though the county eventually intends to sell the property, Smith said it will be available as a passive recreation area until the new park is ready for public use.
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