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Watson Cabin undergoes makeover

By By Adam Prestridge
Renovations continue this week on Watson Cabin in Heritage Park.
According to Atmore Leadership Class of 2005 president Mark Clayton, the overhaul is a project taken on by his class. He said several businesses in Atmore helped fund the renovations and the class raised additional funds and coordinated with a professional contractor to have the work performed.
Steve Breceda, a local pastor and contractor, was hired to perform the renovations. Clayton said Breceda has been working on the project since the second week of October, but lost a week due to recent rains. The class was shooting for a deadline of Oct. 27, the day prior to Williams Station Day.
"I don't think he's going to be able to do it because of the weather," Clayton said Friday morning.
Clayton said weather and funding also slowed the start of renovations.
The deadline was not met, but Breceda was hard at work Monday morning making up lost ground. He said he plans on the project being complete by Friday.
The renovations are not limited to just one particular area inside or outside the cabin. Breceda is working on a variety of repairs, according to Clayton.
"He's tearing out rotten wood, priming it, took out all the screens so that the porch area will be open all around that way you have entertainment all around it, is replacing damaged steps and fixing the bathroom door on the inside," Clayton said.
Breceda will also be painting the entire exterior of the cabin. Clayton said the existing color will remain the same.
The cost of the project was $4,456, but Clayton said Breceda decreased the cost of his labor to help the class afford the repairs.
"Steve and his wife wanted to help and dropped their price by $500 to help make it more affordable for us," Clayton said. "They are very civic-minded as well."
With Breceda's donation the cost of the repairs was lowered to $3,956.
Other businesses and organizations that helped fund this project include, Atmore Community Hospital, Alto Products, Masland, The First National Bank &Trust, Martin Enterprises and the Atmore Leadership Class of 2004.
"We wanted to find a project that would help to improve Atmore," Clayton said. "That is a very visible landmark. Heritage Park is being used more and more and we want to do our part to help keep it up."
Clayton said the Atmore community has embraced the renovations.
"Anybody that I've talked to about it has been very positive and a lot of people don't realize it yet, but when they go to the park for an event and see the work that's been done, I believe they'll like what they see," he said.
The Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce has also been a big supporter of the project.
"They're very much for it and they've put forward some of the funds as well," Clayton said.
Watson Cabin is used for several chamber functions throughout the year, including civic and private events. The renovations will be welcomed by Santa Claus when he makes his stop in Atmore on Dec. 7.