by Mitchell Kirk
---- — The beach at France Park is expected to open next spring with a new, bigger and more handicap-accessible restroom facility.
The old bathhouse, which France Park Superintendent Lucas Beach said was about 20 years old, was torn down to its concrete slab recently in anticipation for bids from three companies seeking to build the new restroom/shower facility.
“It’s just been rundown and it’s time to start renovating the park and start getting ready new facilities for the customers,” Beach said. “It will be extremely beneficial for that area of the park.”
The former 15- by 20-foot structure will be replaced by one that is 22 by 30 feet and will include about twice the amount of facilities, Beach said, the exact details of which will depend on what bid the Cass County commissioners end up approving.
At a meeting Monday, the commissioners opened bids from three companies looking to take on the project. Solid Finish Construction Inc., out of Galveston, submitted a bid for $90,806.10. Logansport-based Leo Brown Construction submitted a bid for $84,409. Shepler Construction Co. Inc., also out of Logansport, submitted a bid for $74,200.
Commissioners voted to take the bids under advisement.
The new facility will also be more handicap accessible, Beach said.
The Cass County Council recently approved the transfer of monies from certain funds within the park’s budget in order to finance the project. Much of it will be funded by money raised from activities at the park over the last year, Beach said, like the new zip-line and the off-road motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle race held at the park this summer.
Beach was able to save money on the project by having park staff tear down the old facility.
“We try to save costs at every angle,” Beach said.
The exact finish date will also depend on which contractor gets the project, but Beach anticipates it to be open by May, before the start of the 2014 camping season.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him: @PharosMAK