Commission accepts $1.8 million for Oakfuskee Conservation Center; finding contractor next step

Published 10:00 am Friday, December 24, 2021

After receiving approval from the other members of the Troup County Board of Commissioners, Commission Chairman Patrick Crews signed off on a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Natural Resources Tuesday night, which will be used to construct the Oakfuskee Conservation Center.

In 2019, the county applied for a $1.8 million Outdoor Stewardship grant through to the Georgia DNR for the center.

The county officially received notice it was selected for the grant in May 2021.

Tuesday acted as an on-site meeting between the county and several companies who showed interest in the project, County Manager Eric Mosley said. Bids for the project’s construction will go out soon.

“We believe it’s going to be a very beautiful project and that a lot of construction companies are going to want to be a part of,” he said.

The county has also funded the project with $3 million in SPLOST funds, Mosley said, and also received a $1.5 million grant from the Callaway Foundation, totaling the amount to fund the construction of the facility at $6.3 million.

The building will be an event facility for weddings, family reunions, corporate events, fishing tournaments, birthday parties and more.

Per the project’s description, the 17,000 square foot multi-use conservation facility will include two levels with classroom and lab space for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper organization, an outdoor pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater, new service roads, sidewalks and nature trails.

Additional plans call for the construction of a wildlife viewing deck, construction of a dock for the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and construction of a new dock at Special Tree.

Crews expressed triumph on the project’s location on West Point Lake, noting its potential to bring economic growth to the area.

“Hopefully, we can attract visitors to our lake. It’s really the only facility located on West Point Lake,” he said.

“As large as our lake is, and as important as it is to our citizens, we feel like at times it’s been underutilized, and so we look forward to the opportunity for a lot more people to come in and use our lake and spend money in Troup County.”