Work crews are busy putting the final touches on the first phase of Blanchard Woods Park in Evans in time for the soccer complex's Sept. 15 grand opening.
Last week, county officials and supervisors with general contractor R.D. Brown and engineering firm Johnson, Laschober and Associates toured the facility and said they were satisfied that the first phase of the park will be completed in time for its public premiere.
Some landscape and touch up work remains at the park, which Barry Smith, the county's director of community and leisure services, said is "99.9 percent completed." He said taxpayers should be pleased with the facility.
"I think it will be the premier park for the county," he said, praising the contractors and engineers for their work.
The first phase makes up about 40 acres of the 150-acre park and includes four soccer fields, a practice field and an NCAA-approved cross country course that will serve as the home track for Augusta State University.
Smith said the $5.1 million first phase relieves pressure from Patriots Park. Ultimately, Blanchard Woods will be twice as large as Patriots and a second phase of construction will include seven additional soccer fields.
The Sept. 15 grand opening ceremonies start at 11 a.m. and will include a dedication by county commissioners, a soccer demonstration by the Patriots Club soccer team and an appearance by the Augusta State cross country team, Smith said.
The event will conclude with the first official soccer games at the park off Blanchard Road. Smith said the county and Augusta State are still looking for donors to sponsor the soccer fields and cross country track.
Interested parties can contact the county at (706) 868-3484.
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