DECATUR — Residents will have to wait a little longer than anticipated to tee off at the Overlook Adventure Park miniature golf course in Nelson Park.

The frigid winter and wet spring played a large role in delaying construction on the building, which will house CherryBerry and Ted's Taters restaurants in addition to a kiosk for the miniature golf course. Landscaping on the 36-hole course is also hindered by recent soggy weather, said Ryan Raleigh, director of operations for the Decatur Park District.

District officials initially hoped to have the course and restaurants ready for a grand opening by Memorial Day weekend. Executive Director Bill Clevenger said the target date is now closer to mid-June, if the weather cooperates.

“It's really difficult to work when it's muddy, and you just can't accomplish much of anything,” Clevenger said. “... We're going to lose most of this week. Every week you lose, you back up your potential completion by X number of days.”

Clevenger said contractor Christy-Foltz Inc., park district employees and others involved in the job are doing everything they can to move quickly.

Most of the plumbing and electrical work in the clubhouse is finished, Raleigh said. The concrete floors are not yet in place. Drywall, sinks and other fixtures also have not yet been installed.

The project's key players also are still ironing out the construction plans for the restaurants, Clevenger said.

“We're trying to coordinate everything so that all the various trades can keep working toward completion. That's architectural coordination, it's permit approvals, all those things have to all come together,” he said. “... Are there little bumps in the road? Sure. But any construction project has those.”

The cost to design and build the miniature golf course is about $1.2 million, a contract the district awarded to Indiana-based Weber Group. Parkdistrict commissioners approved a $1.7 million bid to build the clubhouse, and the parking lot cost $574,000.

Some of the expense comes from building a course that is meant to stand the test of time. The pathways are concrete that will be covered in green carpet, and 18 of the holes, or nine from each course, will be accessible for people with disabilities.

The miniature golf course is part of the district's ongoing lakefront development plans. It is the first addition to a section of Nelson Park near U.S. 36 that officials one day hope will include indoor and outdoor water parks, a climbing wall and batting cages.

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Regional Editor

Regional editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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