By JIM FALL Executive editor
Maryville Daily Forum
“It’s been a long time coming,” Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said Wednesday as he watched heavy equipment operators from the city’s Street Department and Mozingo Lake Recreation Park grounds crew move earth in preparation for construction of a new city-owned conference center and golf course clubhouse.
The $4 million park facility is to be built in conjunction with a privately developed 40-room hotel.
“Can you believe it’s finally here?” McDanel asked no one in particular as the equipment stopped briefly so workers could figure out the best way to remove remnants of an old building foundation.
“We’ll be scraping for the next few days,” Street Superintendent Jay Cacek said. “If we get a good five days, we’ll have it.”
The preliminary work is beginning on the south side of the existing entrance to the Sechrest 18 and Watson 9 golf courses, where the typography will be lowered by approximately 10 feet.
When that is accomplished, Midland Engineering will complete final elevations for the relocation of the golf course entrance and a new parking lot.
The hotel, to be constructed and managed by Boulders Inn and Suites of Denison, Iowa, and a local investment group, will be located on the north side of the existing entryway near the site of the current upper parking area.
City crews are also scheduled to perform some grading work for that project as a part of the city’s agreement with the developers, McDanel said.
The overall plan calls for the entry road to remain open throughout construction.
The new conference center will feature a 5,500-square-foot modular banquet hall capable of seating 500 people, a restaurant, a golf pro shop, and indoor golf cart storage.
Plans call for the restaurant to be operated by a private third-party vendor.
The new conference center will be located east of the existing clubhouse and silo, allowing the current facility to be used throughout construction.
The existing clubhouse, built when the park opened 20 years ago, and an iconic silo remaining from when the site was a working farm, are scheduled for demolition when the new center is completed.
In addition to the new facilities, the main entrance to the golf courses will be relocated a few hundred yards to the south. The configuration of the driving ranges will also be relocated to a lesser degree.
Construction of the conference center moved forward following voter approval in April of a new eighth-of-a-cent sales tax.