Safety concerns delay reopening of Jesse Stuart Lodge


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Further delay of the reopening of the Jesse Stuart Lodge at Greenbo Lakes State Resort Park was announced Friday by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet (KTAHC) due to safety concerns.

The Jesse Stuart Lodge was tentatively to reopen on Memorial Day weekend after being closed for fire damage in 2015. The decision was made after Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland received the draft of an engineering report that concludes the building is no longer safe for occupancy.

“The lodge has been closed to visitors and guests for the past six months ago after an electrical fire that caused smoke damage to the main lodge and some of the resort’s 36 guest rooms,” Holland said. “Construction workers alerted us to a potential problem with the roof as they were working to repair damage caused by a fire back in October. Safety is our top priority, and we feel it necessary to keep the lodge closed until more repairs are made.”

The Kentucky Finance and Administrative Cabinet authorized Palmer Engineering of Winchester, Ky. to inspect the roof on the Jesse Stuart Lodge located in Greenup County, Ky. The engineering report concludes “the building is unsafe for occupancy.” The report recommends either repairing the lobby trusses in-place or replacing the support beams with new ones.

Don Parkinson, Secretary of the KTAHC, said safety of their guests and employees is their main concern.

“The safety of our guests and our state parks employees is our primary concern. That’s why we are closing the lodge at Greenbo State Resort Park for the foreseeable future,” Parkinson said.

The KTAHC Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet which oversees all of the Commonwealth’s 49 state parks.

“We have invited employees displaced by this latest repair to fill jobs at the other state park facilities in the area,” Parkinson said.

Stephanie Poplin, manager of Greenbo Lakes State Resort Park, said she was saddened by the news when she heard it Friday morning.

“We literally just found this out in the past few minutes or so, and its so disappointing, it really is,” Poplin said. “They found some additional issues that have absolutely got to be addressed. Its a structure issue, the trusses in the lobby. They found that there is some structure damage to those trusses, and they absolutely have to be replaced because it is a safety hazard.”

The process of hiring a contractor to complete the new found work will begin again soon.

“This means of course, that this is a job that is going to have to be bid out for contractors to come in and do that work,” Poplin said. “Of course, it is not going to be a small job, but a huge one so there is going to be quite a delay because of that.”It is really hard for all of us here, but for the safety of our guests and employees, its got to be done. Poplin said.

The swimming pool, campgrounds, marina, and recreational amenities at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park will remain open during the renovation of the lodge.

By Portia Williams

[email protected]

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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