Construction ahead of schedule at Appalachian Wildlife Center

Published 12:33 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

A project being deemed as the most impactful economic development project ever to come to the entire region, second only to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, is ahead of its construction schedule.

Construction on the Appalachian Wildlife Center began in March and, according to Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock, is ahead of schedule.

“As I’ve said in the past, it’s not possible to convey in just a few words the enormous impact this project will have for our county, cities, as well as the entire region,” Brock said.

The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation (AWF), a Blueprint Partner of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) selected Hacker Brothers Construction, who began construction of the state-of-the-art 80,000 square foot visitor center near Pineville in mid-March.

“I know many people in the community have had doubts about the veracity of this project, but it’s time now to stop doubting and let’s all come together as a community and start getting ready for June 2021 when they open,” he said.

According to Brock, the developers had added a petting zoo and open air zoo to the attractions that the $1.3 million project will include. There will also be a 300-seat restaurant, theatre and the 300 elk that will be released on the property.

The developers will be giving an update on April 17 at 12:30 p.m. in the conference room at Pine Mountain State Park. Everyone is invited to attend.