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Recreation: Litchfield park construction draws interest from contractors

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Bids for construction at Stables Park in Litchfield open this month and preliminary interest from contractors is high.

A pre-bid conference for initial work on the grounds, including a new tennis complex and ball fields, attracted 28 contractors last week. Several were specialized subcontractors interested in the tennis courts.

A pre-bid conference Wednesday for the portion of the job that includes buildings at the park, attracted 18 contractors.

The response was a promising sign as competition should mean lower bids, said Beth Goodale, Georgetown County director of parks and recreation.

She isn’t worried about a repeat of a recent situation with Eight Oaks Park where 21 contractors attended a pre-bid conference, but only one bid was received. Eight Oaks bidders were deterred by the aggressive time line and hefty penalties attached to that project, she said. Those aren’t factors with Stables Park.

Plans are to present low bids on both phases of work at Stables Park to County Council in November. Construction should start on the site by December, Goodale said.

The park is slated to open late next year.

Bidding for other Waccamaw Neck projects including a new Murrells Inlet community center, Parkersville recreation center and construction at Retreat Park are also coming down the pipeline.

The schedule for the recreation center is similar to that of Stables Park, with advertising for bids beginning next week and bids going to council next month. Construction should start in December.

The time line for Retreat Park is just a few weeks behind the one for the recreation center.

A meeting today will finalize bid information for the center and design work should start this fall.

“We should have all projects under way by January,” Goodale said. “We’re so excited because so many times people said ‘it’s not really going to happen.’ It’s hard to say that when dirt is moving and contracts are being bid.”

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