Atwood Lake Park Undergoing $21M Rehab, Modernization
September 8, 2015
MINERAL CITY, Ohio (Sept. 8, 2015) — Implementation of the $161 million Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) Master Plan has been initiated, with the commencement of construction of the Welcome Center at Atwood Lake Park.
The master plan was developed by Woolpert in 2013 and addresses the five major parks and several marinas in the watershed. It supports the MWCD’s mission of flood reduction, conservation and recreation.
“It’s the first major renovation project we’ve tackled since the parks were built, which was between 1947 and 1966,” said Scott Barnhart, MWCD’s chief of recreation and chief ranger. “We had a lot of aging infrastructure, and we wanted to bring it up to a standard that those who use the parks would enjoy.”
The $21 million Atwood Lake Park project, for which Woolpert is providing design and construction support, includes a Welcome Center and multiple campgrounds.
The Welcome Center construction started in March 2015 and is expected to be complete in February, with a grand opening in March 2016.
The campgrounds development, which involves the renovation of existing campgrounds and the addition of new campgrounds, is slated to begin in 2016 and wrap up in 2022.
The campsites will be expanded to accommodate the larger, more modern recreational vehicles and will be updated to meet 21st-century technology demands, with full utility hookups and Wi-Fi access. Utilities, roadways, beaches and fishing docks also will be revamped.
There will be paved and lighted trails connecting campsites, new shower houses and restrooms, and amenities such as cluster boat docks, common campground areas, picnic sites and a playground.
“The goals of the master plan are to upgrade the parks and attract new people, especially the younger generations, and to keep the parks viable for another 50 years,” said James Dobrozsi, Woolpert project director. “This infusion of money is intended to make the parks more modern and provide a more conducive camping environment for today’s outdoor recreation.”
The Atwood Lake Park Master Plan is themed “Special Events/Entertainment,” since the park has established itself as a destination for festivals. It hosts the annual four-day Alive Festival, which is one of the top Christian music festivals in the country.
Renovations also will be made to the amphitheater and parking area, and a zipline course will be added.
The Muskingum Watershed covers more than 8,000 square miles, or about 20 percent of Ohio. The MWCD reports 3.6 million customers use the district’s recreational facilities each year, based on paid attendance through park gates, and countless additional customers use the free public access points around the MWCD lakes.
Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial firm headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.
Barnhart said working with Woolpert has been a good experience from the start.
“Woolpert has really shined with the development for the Welcome Center,” he said. “The Welcome Center will include registration, gate, offices, information, (etc.) From both a customer and a staff perspective, the center will be a one-stop shop. It will put everything right at their fingertips.”
For more information about the MWCD, the master plan or specific plans for each park and marina, visit mwcd.org.