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Full Slate of Repair Projects to Commence at Bastrop State Park
BASTROP — A host of major repair and renovation projects are set to start Aug. 1 at Bastrop State Park, and while the park will remain open for day use and overnight stays, some cabins and campsites will be temporarily unavailable during construction.
Six of the park’s 13 rustic cabins and roughly 10 of the park’s 78 campsites being retrofitted to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act will be unavailable for reservation through at least the end of the year, according to project manager Tony Bettis. Five other campsites adjacent to the construction also will be shut down.
Bettis says, too, that the park’s aging swimming pool and bath house, as well as the golf pro shop, will be undergoing improvements in coming months as part of the more than $2.6 million in repairs and renovations slated for Bastrop State Park, a National Historic Landmark built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The pool will close after Labor Day and repairs will begin shortly after for leak repairs and for complete resurfacing. Repairs are slated to be completed by March 31, 2011.
“We don’t want to blindside anybody with these repair projects,” Bettis says. “Some people don’t go through our reservations center to book a campsite, but just show up. I would hate for them to drive two hours and arrive to find no campsites available.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department crews already this year have made $317,000 in electrical system upgrades to Bastrop’s pro shop and replaced the roof of the CCC-era warehouse.
The Bastrop State Park renovation projects represent another checkmark on a long list of major Texas State Parks rejuvenation projects underway this year, all aimed at making the parks more fun, safer and customer-friendly. Texas State Parks general obligation bonds have been sold to fun more than $44 million in repairs and renovations to park cabins, bathrooms, electrical and water systems, and other state park infrastructure. In addition to fixing up more than 40 state parks, the bonds provide $25 million to dry berth the Battleship Texas, protecting this proud veteran of two wars from the corrosive seawater in the Houston Ship Channel.
In addition, the park’s iconic dining hall, built by the CCC of native sandstone and timber, will undergo a modernization of its outdated electrical system. Just down the road, Buescher State Park’s popular recreation hall, also built by the CCC more than 70 years ago, is undergoing $913,000 in renovations, including the stabilization of the structure and the expansion of the restrooms to comply with the ADA. Construction should wrap up before the end of the year.
ADA upgrades are a large part of the Bastrop State Park improvement projects, affecting not only cabins and campsites, but also picnic areas, parking lots, the playground and the scenic overlook. The pro shop and caddy shack for the 18-hole golf course also will be made more accessible to the mobility-impaired.
In addition, the pro shop will be closed Nov. 1 to undergo a total facelift. The roof, exterior siding and windows will be replaced, making it weatherproofed again. A temporary building is being installed nearby to handle golf operations until the renovations are completed early next year.
Among the six cabins slated for rejuvenation are Cabin 6, which has long remained closed due to foundation problems, and the park’s largest cabin, Cabin 12, which is retrofitted to comply with ADA standards. Cabin 12, also known as the Lost Pines Lodge, should be back on line by the end of the year, but Cabin 6 won’t reopen until spring of 2011. Persons seeking to rent a cabin, which have full kitchens and fireplaces, should make reservations well in advance.
A number of campsites in the Deer Run, Piney Hill and Copperas Cove camping areas will be adversely affected by nearby construction or ADA projects in fall and winter months. For advance camping reservations, please contact TPWD’s Customer Service Center at (512) 389-8900 or make online reservations: http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/park_reservations/web/.
Bastrop State Park, located in the legendary Lost Pines of central Texas 35 miles east of the state capital, draws 150,000 visitors a year to its sylvan setting amid an ancient loblolly pine forest that is home to the endangered Houston toad. In addition to swimming and golf, visitors to the 5,926-acre park enjoy fishing, hiking, picnicking and biking on the 12-mile road joining Bastrop and Buescher state parks.
Watch the official TPWD Bastrop State Park video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8MdNlyPjvw
For more information on the park, call 512/321-2101. Or visit the Bastrop State Park website: http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/bastrop
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