Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Interpretive center ready for construction bids

Published 10:38 am Thursday, January 7, 2016

The $7 million project to build a new Jay C. Hormel Nature Center interpretive center is ready to take a key step forward.



Director/Naturalist Larry Dolphin said the interpretive center project is on schedule, and the nature center will begin advertising next week for construction contractors to bid to build the center.

Now that initial work has been done to excavate the building site and ready things like the sewer, water and gas lines, work on the building could start soon after the Austin City Council approves the project’s contractor, which is expected to happen in March.

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“We’re moving on all fronts,” Dolphin said.

The groundbreaking for the building has been pushed back to April 22, which is Earth Day, though Dolphin expects work to start sooner. The goal is to dedicate the completed project on April 22, 2017.

Overall, Dolphin said things are going well.

Along with the $5 million Hormel Foundation grant, the nature center has been raising money for the $7 million project, but they have about $200,000 to go.

Dolphin encouraged people to donate, whether it’s a large or small amount, if they haven’t already.

“We’re doing very well, but dollars are still coming in,” he said.

—Jason Schoonover can be reached at jason.schoonover@austindailyherald.com