The Ardmore Tourism Authority got an upgrade in venue for their regular monthly meeting Thursday, as the board met at the Lake Murray Floating Cabins. The meeting itself was kept pretty short since the real treat was after adjournment — a tour of the new Lake Murray State Park lodge.
The multi-building facility is still under construction, but Manhattan Construction Project Manager Dan Luttrell said, “right now, we’re on schedule.” The hope is the new lodge will be completed by February 2017.
Buildings on site include a lobby area, a restaurant with a view of the lake and outside seating, a massive ballroom with meeting rooms on each end and several lodges for guests to stay overnight. Two of the guest lodges have eight rooms each and the third is a 16-room lodge. All rooms face the lake and include outdoor balconies.
The Oklahoma Legislature approved funding for the $27 million state park project in 2012. According to a press release form the state senate’s office, royalty payments from the parks owned by the state are used for capital improvements at all state parks. Lake Murray is the largest state-owned park in Oklahoma.
As Luttrell and project engineer Ethan Bateman took the board on a tour of the facilities, they answered questions and talked about details of unfinished work. Many of the facilities will showcase exposed, wood slat ceilings and the ballroom may be adorned with 13-foot chandeliers.
While the project seems to be nearing completion the first six to nine months involved less building and more underground utility work. Luttrell said since Lake Murray is a rock-bottom lake, a lot of it had to be excavated.
“We moved over 20,000 cubic pounds of dirt and rock just to build these buildings,” he said.
The end result for more than 70,000 square-feet in accommodating sites with breathtaking views of the lake appear to be worth the dirt work.