As you recall, Robert Lake Park sustained significant damage last May due to heavy rains and flooding. Montreat Conference Center received overwhelming support from the community and more than $100,000 for the restoration work, for which we are deeply grateful. In the weeks following, we were able to receive preliminary approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to begin clean-up efforts and reopen a portion of the park for the remainder of the summer.
Conversations with the Army Corps of Engineers continued throughout the summer and into the fall. Because various creeks intersect the larger portion of the park, the Corps’ approval was necessary before any work on that part of the park could begin. In December, that approval was granted. During this same time, the MRA met with and interviewed a landscape architect, engineers, and other experts in anticipation of beginning the restoration as soon as possible. Over the last three months, the MRA has engaged engineers and met with biologists and other government officials to ensure that the restoration would meet the compliance standards of local and state regulations and improve the park’s defenses against future flooding.
We are nearing the end of the due-diligence period. The current goal – on what will now require a very tight timeline – is to have the entire park open by June 1st. While we wait for final approval, we have distributed pre-bid packages to contractors in hopes of accelerating the bid process.
This project has been and remains our highest capital priority. We acknowledge, however, that the process has already taken longer than expected, and we are particularly sorry that so many families have not been able to enjoy the entirety of the park over the past several months. At this point, we can provide no guarantees, but will update you further as soon as we have more information.
Thank you again for your continued patience and support.
Seth Hagler, Vice President for Development