The City of Ocala is looking to award a contract to a local company to design and build an 1837 period blacksmith shop at Fort King National Historic Landmark.
The proposed contract between the city and Dinkins Construction, LLC, in the amount of $134,711, will be presented to the Ocala City Council during its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 15.
After the successful reconstruction of Fort King in 2017, the Fort King Heritage Foundation began planning the reconstruction of an 1837 period blacksmith shop. In 2021, the archeology research needed to reconstruct the shop was funded by the foundation in the amount of $42,750.
On October 1, 2021, the city solicited bids from contractors for the design and build of the shop at Fort King, and three proposals were received. Each company presented their proposals and a selection committee ranked Dinkins Construction as the top proposer.
City staff is recommending approval of the contract, and it will be presented to the city council members for approval or denial during their upcoming regular meeting. If approved, the design of the blacksmith shop would commence immediately. Construction would be expected to take no longer than six months, and the new shop would be completed and unveiled at the annual Fort King Reenactment in December.
The city’s expenditure would be reduced by an estimated $80,000 since Fort King Heritage Foundation has secured $80,000 in cash. The foundation will also solicit additional donations of cash, in-kind services, and construction materials.
The Fort King National Historic Landmark is jointly owned by the City of Ocala and Marion County. On February 24, 2004, the site was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The Ocala City Council meets at 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue).