Central City Park reopening after $3.7 million improvement project

by | Mar 15, 2017 | Community News, News

Macon-Bibb County will celebrate the completion of the second phase of improvements to Central City Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will be held near the new skate park and will feature Commissioners, members of the SPLOST Advisory Committee, the Parks & Recreation Department, and a local skating group, the Clockwork Crew.

“Central City Park is a centerpiece of our community, one where people have been gathering for fairs, festivals, birthdays, ball games, Minor League Baseball, and more for decades,” says District 2 Commissioner Larry Schlesinger. “These upgrades are long overdue, and I know all of Macon-Bibb will be proud of the work we are doing.”

Improvements to Central City Park have been funded with $6 million from the voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Attached is a rendering of the project once it’s complete. This current phase cost approximately $3.7 million and included: an urban skate park with ramps and stairs; half a mile of new sidewalks through the Park; two new pavilions; four new multipurpose fields (football, soccer, and lacrosse) with irrigation; a new concessions stand with restrooms at the softball fields; a new concession stand and restroom facility for the multipurpose fields and skate park; two new stand alone restroom facilities; demolition of nine dilapidated buildings; removal the overhead power lines; and power and sewer lines underground to better serve events. Additionally, the number of RV spots was increased from 41 to 72, and working electrical and water lines were added to meet the demands of festivals, fairs, tournaments, and visitors.

Prior to this phase of work, SPLOST funds were used to improve the Round Building (new windows, doors, paint, and electrical system, and opening the windows at the top for better ventilation) and the Bandstand (repaired woodwork and painting). The Parks and Recreation Offices in Central City Park also received a new roof, new paint, upgraded electrical systems, and fiber optic lines installed. The next phase of the project is expected to include the addition of a competition bowl to the skate park, lighting the multipurpose fields, rebuilding the softball fields, adding parking, and adding more sidewalks through the park.

About the SPLOST
The current SPLOST was approved by voters in 2011, with collections beginning in 2012. Thanks to this additional penny – which studies have shown is paid mostly by people traveling into or through Macon-Bibb – there is a new Animal Welfare Center, new Juvenile Justice Center, three new fire stations, $39 million in new or improved recreation facilities, a new public safety radio system, vehicles and equipment for law enforcement, road and storm drainage repair, and more.

The voters of Macon-Bibb County have approved a continuation of the SPLOST, and it is expected to raise $280 million. It includes the next phases of recreation projects, federally-mandated closure of the landfill, courthouse renovations, runway extension at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport, stormwater repair and upgrades, public safety projects, and more. To develop the list of what was included, the County hosted a series of community meetings to hear directly from people.

You can read about the projects and what else is included in the planned SPLOST here. To see the active and completed projects covered under the current program, check out the detailed SPLOST site.

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