AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking a top-notch architectural/design firm to come up with a state-of-the-art, sustainable design for rebuilding hurricane-ravaged Galveston Island State Park.
When planning and design costs are known and future monies become available, TPWD will redevelop the popular seaside state park as a flagship project. The 2,000-acre park, which features more than a mile of public beach access and camping, only reopened this summer after being closed for six months due to catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ike in September 2008.
Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature allocated a portion of the state’s Hurricane Ike recovery funds to TPWD to hire a consultant to develop a master plan to design and rebuild the state park. It is not known when funding for actual construction of new facilities will become available.
TPWD’s Infrastructure Division has extended its original Request for Qualifications period to provide adequate time for all interested candidates to respond. The chosen firm will help create a Galveston Island State Park master plan for redeveloping the park as a model of resource conservation featuring eco-friendly facilities that would have minimal environmental impact. The goal is to promote the park’s natural beauty and provide a wide range of recreational activities, while ensuring site sustainability through creating its own energy and recycling waste products. The use of solar photovoltaics, rainwater collection and other renewable energy generating methods are envisioned in the park’s redevelopment.
“Galveston Island State Park has the opportunity to be rebuilt within a region that has now become more urban, making it ever more important to design and plan a park that provides a sense of place to a wide spectrum of the population,” said Gordon Bohmfalk, the division’s head of planning and design. “Planning will require the organization of infrastructure that serves to engage the public with the unique environment. It is Nature that is the primary asset here; its buildings, cabins, roadways and campsites all installed to become a part of it and protect it.”
Professional master planning and design service firms interested in bidding on the project are required to have a representative attend a pre-submittal meeting at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23 at TPWD’s Austin headquarters at 4200 Smith School Road. Respondents will then be required to submit qualifications by Nov. 19. Company representatives who attended the Sept. 18 pre-submittal conference need not attend the October session.
For more information, contact contract manager John Pena at (512) 389-8408, or visit the TPWD Construction Bid Opportunities Web page.
Galveston Island State Park is open seven days a week and offers full services on the bay side and limited camping and day use facilities on the beach side until a master plan is developed, environmental assessment completed and permanent facilities rebuilt. To facilitate the reopening of the beach side, electrical power and water have been restored, and a structure has been moved in to serve as temporary headquarters. The original headquarters building and all other beachside facilities were destroyed by Hurricane Ike.
Galveston Island State Park occupies a sliver of land at the midway point of the barrier island about six miles southwest of the western tip of the popular sea wall. The bay side provides public access to about 600 acres of grasslands with coastal scrub and scattered oak mottes, as well as hundreds of additional acres of saltwater sloughs, wildlife-rich wetlands and tidal bayous.