1/23/2013 6:00:00 AM Aldermen reject bids on log cabin construction
By STEVEN THOMAS
Bids to reconstruct the historic log cabin in Northside Park, which was destroyed by a tornado in 2011, were rejected last week by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
The low bid of $155,000 was submitted by Tyler Construction Group. The project would include an additional architectural fee of $12,400 for a total cost of $167,400.
The city received a $112,276 grant through the Mississippi Landmark Grant Program to go toward the project.
In addition, the city received a $46,288.68 insurance settlement to help replace the log cabin after it was destroyed.
Mayor James A. Young said the bids were rejected because it would bring an additional cost to the city because the insurance funds were utilized to repair fencing and lighting at the park which were also destroyed by the tornado.
"We were floored by the costs," Young said of the bids, noting that the project was not abandoned and the bids could be addressed again at the board's next meeting on Feb. 5.
Park Commissioner David Vowell said his board did not make a recommendation to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen in regards to the bids.
He said the park commission would possibly address the log cabin project at its Feb. 12 meeting.
Other bids received on the project were $208,000 from D & E Construction Company, $257,195 from W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Co, and $329,800 from Perry Construction Co. Each of those bids would also require an additional 8 percent architectural fee.
In the wake of the tornado, park officials were able to salvage the cabin's stone fireplace, floor and several logs, which made up the original walls, for use on the new structure.
The state Department of Archives and History approved an architectural design for the new structure last year.
Luke & Kaye Architects of Meridian designed the new cabin, which would resemble the original structure which was destroyed during an April 2011 tornado.
The new design calls for the cabin to be rebuilt using the original design with the exception of a handicap accessible ramp added to the front.
The log cabin was built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps for use as the public library.
When the collection outgrew the building, a new library was constructed in the 1970s and the cabin was later moved to the park where it was used as a community meeting place and a venue for birthday parties and family reunions.
The tornado touched down at the park and tore a 22-mile path to the Coy community, killing one, and went barreling on through Tuscaloosa, Ala., where there were more deaths.