If all things go as planned, Ardmore residents could be celebrating the 2018 holidays at Ardmore’s newest attraction.
Ardmore Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin said Phase 1 of The Clubhouse would be ready to send out for bids in the coming months, and could be ready for ground breaking as early as March, with its completion expected in the winter of 2018.
“If we go out to bid in early February… we should be in construction mid-March,” Ervin said. “Opening, barring (delays), there’s weather and other things, we should be open for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the holidays next year.”
The 9,000 square foot facility will include a full kitchen and arcade, along with a “soft play” area and about 4 acres of property with outdoor activities, including a zip line, go-carts, miniature golf and water wars with more than 3 acres of property remaining for future expansion.
The first phase of the facility will include two levels, though the bottom level will be used primarily as storage.
The Clubhouse will be located near the west entrance of Regional Park where the remnants of Dizzy’s Amusement Park currently sits. Discussions for the project began as early as 2014, about the same time Ervin took over as director for the Parks and Recreations Department.
“You’ll be able to see it from I-35, and you will see it when you enter the park,” Ervin said.
Ervin said the department met with a company last Friday to address the method of ticket gathering and collecting for the new facility. The department is opting for an electronic method that would use a swipe card in place of the traditional ticket process.
“We are pretty close to our last on-target,” Ervin said. “We get to do stuff like this and I just get really excited. Picking out the bathroom fixtures and kitchen stuff. We had to have a menu so we had the right equipment for the kitchen. The menu is done, and we will probably tweak it, I’m sure, but we have the equipment.”
Once completed, the Clubhouse will also be made available for private parties and company retreats, using the tree houses and party rooms during the offseason.
“We will be able to do five private parties at a time,” Ervin said.
Ervin said the first phase of the project would not include alcohol services or attractions specific to adults and that any plans for expansions would be determined by future data-specific needs.
“We did a feasibility study to see what would meet the needs of this community, and these were the things we came up with first,” Ervin said. “As we advance, we will look at those studies again and see what the citizens want.”
Ervin said that while Phase 1 was near the end of its planning stage, the department may have a little wiggle room depending on the results of the bid process. Future expansions of the Clubhouse and the amenities it offers could be possible, but would be determined by the success of the facility and the needs and wants of the community.
“There is more room down here for another go-cart track and even a ropes course that we were looking at,” Ervin said. “Depending on the numbers, what comes in on the bids, we may have some money to play with, and there could be possibly more attractions.”
Ervin said the department’s existing holiday programs like Santa’s Workshop may utilize the new facility as well, but those issues would be addressed once the facility is in place.