Grovetown City Council-man David Daughtry lifted a golden shovel full of earth Wednesday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the city's newest recreation facility at Liberty Park.
Daughtry, alongside several other city and Columbia County dignitaries, celebrated the groundbreaking of the community center he has worked toward during his 14 years on the city council.
"When I first started, it was on the books to get done with a $100,000 budget, and we never could get it done," he said. "(This) is a whole lot different. The project is about 10 or 12 times bigger than it was back then, and we're looking forward to it."
The park on Newmantown Road already has a walking track with exercise stations and four baseball fields. City officials designed the combination gymnasium and multipurpose building with Studio 3 Design Group PC, the architects for Columbia County's new library and performing arts center.
The community center will include an indoor basketball court, a fitness or weight room and a few offices and meeting rooms in addition to rest rooms, storage and a kitchen.
"Contrary to popular opinion, sometimes we love to see the growth in Grovetown, particularly things like this that all the citizens can enjoy," Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said.
The community center is a cooperative effort between city and county officials. The exact cost of construction is still unclear, but city officials put aside $500,000 from the 2000-05 1-cent sales tax and Columbia County officials have obligated another $500,000.
Project contractor David Fahrion, of Kirby Fahrion & Associates Inc., of Grovetown, said the building is in the design phase.
"Hopefully, we'll be officially starting in a couple of weeks," said Fahrion, whose company also built the score-box building at the park.
Construction is estimated to take 180 days and should be completed by September or the beginning of October.
Daughtry said he hopes to use the building as an escape from the heat and a large and comfortable seating area for the city's annual Fourth of July celebration in 2007.
"I think it is pretty good for us," Daughtry said of the community center. "It is a good beginning."
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