Drive underway to complete golf course clubhouse

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Jason E. Silvers/Tribune photo Fort Scott Community College Construction Trades student Shane Bailey works Tuesday afternoon on the overhang over a porch area of the new clubhouse under construction at Woodland Hills Golf Course.

e city-owned Woodland Hills Golf Course is slowly beginning to take shape.

Since late 2014, a group of Fort Scott Community College Construction Trades students and their instructor, Kim Coates, have been working on an approximately 2,000-square-foot clubhouse that would eventually replace the current old clubhouse. The construction project is being funded through fundraisers and donations.

Members of the Golf Course Advisory Board met Tuesday to get an update on progress on the clubhouse and to discuss timelines and finances related to the project.

Coates said his students are currently working on the exterior of the clubhouse, including stone and brick work, and should have that part completed by the end of the current school year in May.

"Once the trim is on, we can do the siding in a day," Coates said. "The goal is to be finished with the outside before school is out ... there's some grading and yard work to do."

Board members discussed whether the clubhouse could be completed by the end of June if outside labor was brought in to help with the project. Currently, construction trades students have only been working minimal hours per week on the project since it started as part of the class, and some drive from out of town. The project has also experienced some weather delays.

The board discussed options and the feasibility of getting the project done by sometime this summer or the end of the year as a June completion date is not likely.

"I think people know it's a work in progress," board member Dennis Davis said.

Board member Mitch Quick asked Coates for a "ballpark figure" if outside labor was hired to finish the inside of the clubhouse while construction trades students are not working on it. Coates said his program would provide sheet rock and gave an estimate of about $12,000 to $15,000 in labor costs to complete the clubhouse by this summer.

"I'm thinking why spend the extra money to have it done six months ahead of time?" board member Steve Harry said. "As nice as it would be to have that open."

Jon Garrison, director of finance for the city, said the clubhouse project has received about $15,550 in personal donations to date and about $10,000 of that amount is "unspoken for," or available to spend.

Work still remaining for the inside of the clubhouse includes flooring, kitchen cabinets and furnishings, just to name a few.

Board members said other work still remaining on the project includes concrete work, landscaping, electricity and installation of utilities.

"We're trying to make it 100 percent quality work," Coates said. "I think it will end up being a nice looking building."

Davis said the project is providing a "win-win" situation for construction trades students and the golf course.

"You do some teaching and we get a clubhouse," he told Coates.

Board members asked Garrison about possible demolition of the current clubhouse but Garrison said there would likely be more discussion on that topic when the new facility is closer to being completed.

Beth Nuss, a former member of the Golf Course Advisory Board who lives in the area of the golf course, attended a Fort Scott City Commission meeting in August 2014 with a proposal to build a new clubhouse at the golf course and make it more appealing and give golfers a better place to gather and socialize. Nuss said she has been working with the advisory board on the project. The current clubhouse was once a farmhouse that is more than 100 years old.

"The old clubhouse was very inefficient to maintain from utilities to upkeep from the deterioration of the building," Nuss said.

Commissioners approved the project in August.

According to cost estimates provided by the city in August, construction of the clubhouse would cost $44,218, excluding other expenses such as plumbing and electrical contractors, cabinets and flooring. The construction trades students are performing all the labor for the project.

In a December 2014 Tribune story, Nuss said the projected final cost for the clubhouse is a "fluid situation as we go along. We compiled bids from local vendors prior to our initial start, as we wanted to make sure this was within our resources."

The project's fundraising committee, led by Nuss, started with $36,891 insurance money received for damages to the clubhouse roof from the April 2013 hail storm; $10,000 from the Golf Course Advisory Board; $2,000 from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation; and $5,500 from individual citizens. The donation from the advisory board came from money that was left over from the initial fundraising effort to help purchase the golf course, Nuss said in that story.