Jackson County Times

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Shangri-La To Be Restored

Parks Department Director, Chuck Hatcher, working to reopen historical attraction at Blue Springs
By Sid Riley
“Reopening Shangri-La has been something I have wanted to accomplish ever since I took the job of Director of Parks and Recreation,” commented Director Chuck Hatcher.  “It appears we may be about to accomplish that goal.”
Shangri-La was a popular place when Graham Air Force Base was open and operating in Marianna, during and after WWII.  The facility was an off base Officers Club, where dances and other activities were often held.  It featured a beautiful outdoor patio, landscaped stairway down to the lake, and a wide waterfront dock.  Hatcher hopes to remodel the facility to create a large, sheltered pavilion where families, church groups, civic clubs, and other organizations can hold large functions.  It would be available for rental from the county on a basis similar to the current system used at Citizens Lodge Park.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Commission Hatcher announced that the Kiwanis Club has agreed to donate $7500 to the project.  These funds would be to help equip the kitchen, replace the water heater, and for the construction of several large picnic tables.  In a similar action, the Marianna Rotary Club has agreed to donate a minimum of $2500 to the project, and when the new club budget is finalized they may add to this commitment.  Hatcher hopes other civic groups will also join in this effort.
In return for their donation, the clubs will be credited for a corresponding amount of usage at the established rental rate for the facility, once those rates are established.  Having this unique facility available for public usage will be a great addition to our community.

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