(WARRENSBURG, Mo). – New docks, indoor bathrooms, a newly paved roadway, solar security lighting, sidewalks, an outdoor classroom, trails, bridges and lake cleanings are the scheduled upgrades hitting Pertle Springs in the 2017-2018 school year.
With a starting budget of $2 million, the final plans come in at about $1 million and is funded by Student Recreation and Wellness Center fees.
“The budget was not set with a necessary goal to spend the entire lumpsum of money, but instead was set to ensure that we would have the funding available to provide the park with all of the upgrades and improvements that it needs,” said Beth Rutt, chair of the Pertle Springs Enhancement committee.
Rutt was responsible for setting the budget and managing the efforts for the renovations.
Pertle Springs, located about a mile south of the University of Central Missouri campus, is a recreational and educational park with small fishing lakes, an observatory, the Keth Memorial Golf Course, and the clubhouse and restaurant, Traditions.
Rutt said the repaving of the road will be completed before the end of Oct. 2017, and will feature a bike trail marking on the main road. The road work will be completed in phases so that traffic is able to enter and exit the park during the reconstruction period, which started at the beginning of October and is expected to be finished by the last week of October.
A 12-by-24-foot courtesy dock will be installed on Lake Cena on the north side of the lake next to the parking. Rutt said that students and community members will be able to rent out kayaks and paddle boats by swiping their debit or credit cards at a payment station on the dock at their own accord. All prices for these rentals are still being discussed.
The cost of the dock is about $25,000. The cost for the walkway is about $7,000, and the concrete back attachment will cost a little under $2,000, according to budget documents from Rutt.
Rutt also said there will be a 45-by-32-foot fishing dock installed for fishing and sunbathing located in adjacent with the fishing dock, just in front of the north parking lot. The dock will cost $38,000. The walkway for that dock will cost about $7,000, and the concrete bank attachment will cost a little under $2,000, according to budget documents from Rutt.
In addition, there will be a new bathroom across from lake Cena, which will cost $36,000, as well as an outdoor pavilion that will seat around 150 people at picnic tables and costs $38,000.
The bathroom, pavilion, and dock projects are scheduled to be completed by Apr. 2017. Rutt added, “We will be doing a lily pad kill on Lake Cena at the end of September. This is our second one and it will require at least three total kills before we have them under control according to the study we had done.”
There will be solar powered security, street lighting installed at the parking area and docks, new sidewalks, an outdoor classroom and trail improvements made. These additions will total about $200,000.
Rutt said that students of UCM’s Student Government Association voted on which upgrades and renovations they wanted or deemed most important from a list she provided. It is unknown what other options there were, as they were discarded, but Rutt felt it was important to have the students choose. She had them choose their top 5 from various lists of possible changes.
Courtney Long, a sophomore accountancy major, said that the park is for more than just educational purposes.
“Pertle Springs is a beautiful place to go for pictures or to get some fresh air,” Long said. “It’s a very relaxing environment.”
Jennifer Mittelhauser, a UCM biology professor, said she uses the park as a resource for the courses she teaches by studying organisms living in the lakes.
“It is a very important resource for our undergrad and grad researchers and for the community in general,” Mittlehauser said.
She says the cleaning of the lakes will not affect her student’s studies negatively, it should enhance them by providing more and healthier organisms.