Jekyll Island to be without gas station through summer tourist season
Demolition begins on fuel-contaminated Jekyll Island facility.

Georgia Times-Union

April 20, 2010 - 12:05am
By Carole Hawkins

JEKYLL ISLAND - A new service station for Jekyll Island State Park is coming a little later than planned and won't open until the end of summer.

In December the state found some fuel contamination in soil samples near the old station's tanks and ordered it removed. It took several weeks for the state to let the park know what work would be required, said the executive director of the park's governing authority.

Also, it took longer than anticipated to negotiate a design with Flash Foods, which will build and operate the new station and convenience store.

"We were very determined not to have just any design," Hooks said. "This will be at Jekyll's front entrance. The aesthetics need to be appropriate and tie in with ... the island's other elements."

The authority closed Jekyll's 40-year-old gas station in October to make room for the new station as part of a $170 million beach village development. The nearest stations are now 12 miles away on the mainland. The authority had hoped to have a new facility open in time for the summer tourist season.

Though that date has been pushed back, it appears the delays are over.

Over the weekend a contractor began tearing down the station's old buildings. Authority project manager Jim Broadwell said he expects construction of a new store to begin May 1 and to last four months.

Architectural drawings, which Broadwell presented to Jekyll's board on Monday, showed what the new look will be.

Most of the construction will be out of old gray brick in shades from very dark to very light. A canopy over the gas pumps will be peaked instead of flat, with posts and connecting brackets that echo those found on the store. Even the type of bollards - the short posts protecting the front of the building - were negotiated.

During the process, Flash Foods cooperated with what the authority was trying to achieve for Jekyll, Hooks said.

"They see this as an opportunity for them to showcase their business too," he said.