Bids are due Friday for subcontractors interested in this phase of the master plan (Project ID 2016-9E8D) , which has a budget of $3 million to $4 million. The scope of work includes site clearing, and new site utilities and roads throughout the site.
The owner and architect are pursuing Gold Level SITES Certification.
HANC’s master plan was devised after the nature center suffered two natural disasters–Hurricane Ike in 2008 and a severe drought in 2011. These resulted in a 50 percent loss of tree canopy and the encroachment of invasive species.
Total project costs are estimated at $41 million, with more than half of that dedicated to landscape restoration.
Implementation of the master plan is scheduled in four phases. The cost of Phases 1 and 2 is $30 million; this includes restoration of the northern third of the property and construction of two new facilities.
Phase 1 includes the construction of new roads and parking areas. The will be followed with the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot Visitor Center that will include an Arboretum orientation, exhibits and interpretation, a nature shop, small cafe, and rental facility.
A new 5,800-square-foot Administrative Building is also planned and it will provide offices for staff, meeting rooms, a volunteer workshop. The plan also requires a renovation of the 11,000-square-foot Education Center.
Landscape work will be ongoing throughout the process. The project is estimated to reach completion of the first two phases by 2018. Phases 3 and 4 would commence shortly thereafter.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.