- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MENA, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas state park lodge is scheduled to reopen next year after $6.7 million in renovations are completed.

The Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge near Mena is set to reopen in spring 2015, after it was closed for about two years, the Texarkana Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1lw1904 ).

The lodge has 38 guest rooms, a restaurant, a meeting room and other amenities. All other facilities at the state park have remained open.

The renovations will expand the building by about 10,000 square feet to include a hearth room and two additional guest rooms. The lobby will be remodeled to feature a new registration desk and grand stairway to the second floor.

Other lodge modifications include a new energy-efficient heating and air conditioning system, water-saving fixtures and an added elevator to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The lodge was scheduled to reopen in summer 2013, but problems with the previous contractor and weather delayed it, said Sara Jones, assistant park superintendent. Jones said the contractor asked for three extensions and was fired after they “made major mistakes.” Nabholz Construction Services, a Conway company, later won the renovation contract.

Weather, including eight ice storms and snow-related events, also stopped crews from working on the lodge, Jones said.

“In one ice storm, every surface was covered in 4 inches of ice,” Jones said. “The sides of buildings were covered with ice. It was dangerous and took three weeks to melt.”

The state parks director, Greg Butts, said the renovations will enhance views of the mountain for visitors. The state’s conservation fund is funding the project.


Information from: Texarkana Gazette, https://www.texarkanagazette.com

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