JAMESTOWN — Renting a camping space within Pymatuning State Park is going to be harder during the 2021 camping season.
"Camping will be at a premium," Dan Bickel, the state park's superintendent, said of the season which begins April 9 and runs through Oct. 31.
A $3 million project to replace the Jamestown Campground's six washhouse facilities begins this summer.
The Jamestown camping sites will shut down in two phases with the campground closed by August, leaving only the park's Linesville Campground operating.
"People may wonder why not start after Labor Day, but it's the scale of the project," Bickel said. "The challenge we ran into is it's a complete teardown and rebuild of the shower facilities and restrooms. There's demolition of the buildings plus asphalt and concrete work which can't be done over the winter."
Safety is a prime factor as large tri-axle dump trucks will be going in and out of the campground during project, according to Bickel.
Timing is another factor.
"We want to have it completed for the 2022 camping season as we get a lot of campers who fish during April and May which is a busy fishing season," Bickel said.
The Jamestown Campground will close in two phases.
The 100/200 camping site loops, where pets are permitted, will close July 6. "There may be a chance those sites will reopen after Labor Day, but it will depend on construction," Bickel said.
The remainder of the Jamestown Campground, the 300/400/500/600 camping loops, close Aug. 2 and will remain closed until the 2022 camping season.
The Jamestown Campground's washhouses are concrete block buildings constructed in 1969. They have cracked floors and bad roofs, and the last few years the park has had to jack up foundations replace cement blocks to try to keep them operating.
"They're just at the end of their life," Bickel said.
The new buildings are to be precast-cast concrete buildings which will be heated. The new buildings will have private unisex restroom facilities, he said.
Chivers Construction Co. of Fairview was the winning low bidder on the general construction contract with a bid of $2,724,970, while Penn Ohio Electrical Co. of Masury, Ohio, was the winning electrical contractor with a low bid of $249,900.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.