My Pulse News

Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

State Terminates Contract with W.A.I on Queen Wilhelmina Construction Project


The $6.7 million remodel of Queen Wilhelmina Lodge, whose re-opening has been delayed three times, has hit another snag. Gregg Butts, the Director of the Arkansas State Parks, told The Pulse, “I’ve called the bond for default of contract due to performance issues which in effect terminates the contract effective August 30.”

The contractor for the remodel is Wade Abernathy, Inc. (WAI) of Mt. Ida, Ark.

The lodge closed in March 2012 and was originally scheduled to re-open by summer 2013 but that date was delayed until Fall 2013. Then, as The Pulse reported in its July 10, 2013  issue, it was delayed yet again until early 2014.

At that time, Butts explained that the project was at 60% completion and near being “in the dry” making officials hopeful there would be no additional delays. He added at that point, that the contract stated that the contractor may be penalized up to $3,500 in liquidated damages defined by loss of revenue for each day the project runs over.

Butts said that he has notified Travelers Insurance, the surety of the bond, who will now conduct their own investigation. He said his office has supplied them with all of the correspondence and they will be analyzing the documentation to confirm the alleged grounds for the termination.

Butts said the goal of his department is to complete the project as soon as possible so “families can return to making memories at Queen Wilhelmina as they have been doing for decades.”

Under the terms of the contract, Butts said Travelers will be responsible for having a new licensed contractor take over the job within 10 business days from the date of termination with WAI, August 30.

The Pulse did call Wade Abernathy, Inc. for comment but to date that call has not yet been returned.

Wade Abernathy, Inc. (WAI) is a family owned, two-generation company with over fifty years experience in general contracting and construction management.  WAI (formerly Wade Abernathy Custom Builders) was incorporated in 1990, with Wade Abernathy Sr. and Wade Abernathy Jr. as co-founders. Since that time the scope of work has included multi-million dollar federal, state, and private projects.

The Pulse will continue to follow this developing story.


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