3/13/2013 6:00:00 AM Go-ahead given on log cabin project
By STEVEN THOMAS Staff Reporter
Plans to rebuild the historic log cabin inside Northside Park are moving forward after an agreement was reached between the architect and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen last week.
After Bob Luke, an architect with LPK Architects of Meridian, presented a slideshow, which included pictures of the original cabin, its history and significance to the area, aldermen accepted a negotiated construction cost with the low bidder.
The cabin was destroyed in April 2011 when an F-5 tornado touched down in the park and tore a 22-mile path to the Coy community where it killed one person before going through Tuscaloosa, Ala., where there were more deaths.
The slideshow ended with the presentation of a negotiated cost of $139,900 from Tyler Construction Group of Philadelphia to rebuild the cabin.
The project will be funded by an $112,276 grant through the Mississippi Landmark Grant Program and a 20 percent match from the city or $28,070.
The project must be complted by Dec. 1, 2014 for the city to receive the grant.
The construction project also includes an 8 percent architect's fee or $11,192, which will be funded by the city and the Park Commission.
While the city received a $46,288 insurance settlement on the log cabin, those monies were used to replace park fencing and lights, which were also destroyed in the tornado.
Tyler's original bid was $155,000.
Luke said he worked with Park Commissioners to reduce construction extras in order to reduce the cost of the overall project.
"We'll use wood frames on the windows as opposed to metal ones," Parks and Recreation Director Chris Burt told aldermen of some of the reductions.
The Mayor and Aldermen said they were pleased to find a way to construct the rebuilding.
"Things are a little better," Mayor James Young said.
Ward 1 Alderman Joe Tullos thanked Burt for making the construction budget more "doable."
In mid-January the board rejected bids on construction of the cabin, saying the city's match would be too costly.
Then in mid-February the board rescinded that order to reject all bids.
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 cabin last year.
It will 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.