Cummins Falls State Park hopes to complete its visitors center and overlook projects next year.
Park Manager Ray Cutcher said the time frame changed when the park rejected high bids for the visitors center project in April.
“Our facility management folks are working with the architect and some contractors to try to get things within budget so that we can proceed from there,” Cutcher said. “Hopefully, it can go back out to bid again. And hopefully we can still get our building built by May of next year.”
Previous estimates indicated that the project would cost between $1.8 and $1.9 million.
Cutcher said the new bids may come in closer to budget.
“The original budget, the total budget was $2.95 million. I don’t know what portions of that is for the construction itself,” Cutcher said. “Some parts are for the architect work and other infrastructure.”
A $200,000 state grant will help pay for the project, along with a $50,000 match provided by the Friends of Cummins Falls State Park group.
Cutcher said the park will also continue to finalize the Recreational Trails Program grant for the ADA-accessible overlook.
“We are in the process of getting all the administrative things done. Once all those things are in place with the grant folks we will be able to get our bids for the project,” Cutcher said. “And move on from there.”
The State of Tennessee awarded Cummins with the $200,000 grant in 2018. Cutcher said despite the slow process, the project will remain on track for quick completion.
“It is on track but I guess things aren’t moving as fast as I thought that they might. Once we have that grant, we will have two years to get the thing constructed,” Cutcher said. “But my hopes are that we have it constructed sometime in the offseason after this summer. ”
Cutcher said he hopes the park can finish both projects by the end of 2020.