School system, county team up on sports complex

  • Follow Education

Columbia County school and government officials on Wednesday announced plans to build an athletics complex, including a new stadium, near Lakeside High School.

Back | Next
Columbia County schools Superintendent Charles Nagle talks about the joint venture between the county and the school system to build a new sports complex, estimated at $12 million, on land near Lakeside High School.   Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Columbia County schools Superintendent Charles Nagle talks about the joint venture between the county and the school system to build a new sports complex, estimated at $12 million, on land near Lakeside High School.

Schools Superintendent Charles Nagle said the county finalized last week the purchase of about 70 acres of undeveloped property behind Lakeside's baseball field. He estimated the project's cost to be as much as $12 million, with funding coming from the school board's and county's 1 percent sales tax. That estimate includes the $1.6 million to buy the land from Reed Creek LLC.

At a news conference in the school's auditorium, Nagle stressed that the county and the school system will share full use of all amenities.

County Commissioner Ron Thigpen, whose District 1 will hold the project, said the park will connect to 22 acres of county-owned green space. Darren Prickett, a landscape architect with project designer Johnson, Laschober and Associates P.C., said the new park will include features that expand on those at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans.

Prickett said the cost of the first phase, which includes site work and infrastructure, will be shared. The school board will pay 56 percent, nearly $4 million, while the county will pay the rest, about $2.5 million.

The final portion of the two-phase project might get under way in 2014 or 2015, Prickett said. It will include building the fields and paving parking areas.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the project will meet the county's goal of bringing a recreation facility to District 1.

Applause rang out from when Nagle mentioned another benefit of the project: an additional entrance to Lakeside high and middle schools. The two schools now have just one entrance off Blue Ridge Drive. The new entrance will connect the schools to Evans to Locks Road via King Taylor Road.

Nagle said relocating some of the schools' athletics facilities would provide room for more parking and potential additions to Lakeside High.

Comments (120) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 03/30/11 - 10:01 am
0
0
What's wrong with the current

What's wrong with the current stadium that would justify this expense?

armyretired
0
Points
armyretired 03/30/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
And they complain we don't

And they complain we don't have enough money - how is a stadium going to help? Spend the money on making improvments to the exsisting schools or put it towards the teachers paychecks.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 03/30/11 - 10:33 am
0
0
According to Wiki, the

According to Wiki, the stadium was added in 1995. Does this mean all schools will be getting a new stadium every 16 years?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/30/11 - 10:33 am
0
0
This is a totally ridiculous

This is a totally ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Don't these people know we are in a recession?!!!!!!

I've been to the stadium. Many times. Yes, it's not perfect, shiny and new. But the last time I checked they can still play football & soccer on it. Isn't that the reason for having one?

Geeze. We are governed by idiots at all levels. From the county commissioners, the school board, to the President of the United States. And that is no joke.

"The press conference will be held at 11 a.m. in the school’s auditorium" Thanks for the advanced warning. 30 minutes gives me PLENTY of time to get over there & voice my opinion. NOT!!!!!!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/30/11 - 11:00 am
0
0
techfan. If you are in Ron

techfan. If you are in Ron Cross' district the answer is Yes.

My question is, why is this just now in the news? They are announcing it like it's a done deal.

paulsmom
0
Points
paulsmom 03/30/11 - 11:01 am
0
0
The Lakeside campus is

The Lakeside campus is hopeless landlocked, the schools are crowded and there is a ridculous shortage of parking. As Columbia County continues to grow in population, the county must keep up with the growth in students, either by building new schools or expanding the capacity of existing schools. I would be shocked to find out that this land acquisition was primarily about a new stadium. I am sure it is part of a much larger plan.

lilfroggin
0
Points
lilfroggin 03/30/11 - 11:01 am
0
0
Yes this can be see a waste

Yes this can be see a waste of taxpayer money, but I don't view it that way. As a graduate of Lakeside and now having a student at Lakeside Middle, this is long overdue. Yes, the stadium is still shiny and serves it's purpose, but since it's opening it has only added to the congestion that plagues all three schools on Blue Ridge Dr. How many of you complaining live near there? Or have to pick up kids from one of the schools? There is ONE road (Blue Ridge Dr) leading to ONE entrance to TWO very busy schools. This has long been a concern of mine, even as a student. I am glad for the option of there being a new road and a possible new entrance to help both of these schools. If you've never seen this poor design for yourself, please take a couple of minutes to google a satellite picture of it and judge for yourself.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/30/11 - 11:13 am
0
0
Lakeside has 2 ways in and

Lakeside has 2 ways in and out - you can choose which way you come from.

All the schools are very, very crowded and congested at pick up & drop off time. This is a nationwide issue. Lakeside is not special in that regard.

Columbia County is growing but not near Lakeside. It is growing in the Grovetown & Greenbrier districts. Lakeside's enrollment is at or almost at capacity. That won't be changing unless they enlarge the high school & middle school.

Bottom line, the stadium is only 16 years old. This is a waste of money just to appease the constitutents in Ron Cross' district. This reeks of a decision to purchase a certain pond in the same district. Or the widening of Fury's Ferry in lieu of the more heavily traveled Washington Road.

pointstoponder
181
Points
pointstoponder 03/30/11 - 11:21 am
0
0
When teachers are being laid

When teachers are being laid off or furloughed, announcing a new stadium is ridiculous regardless of traffic considerations.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 03/30/11 - 11:26 am
0
0
Wasteful spending... but

Wasteful spending... but what's new about that from the Ron Cross led commissioners?

pointstoponder
181
Points
pointstoponder 03/30/11 - 11:26 am
0
0
You gotta love announcing an

You gotta love announcing an announcement.

lilfroggin
0
Points
lilfroggin 03/30/11 - 11:29 am
0
0
Chillen... do you live

Chillen... do you live anywhere near, or commute anywhere near that area? How many schools in Columbia County have ONE entrance into both schools. In the event of an emergency if there was no way to exit the facilities through the one entrance/exit to campus, how would all of the students, faculty and staff safely leave campus? Yes, I agree that all schools are congested at dismissal and arrival times, but have you ever had to attend an extracurricular event? How about finding a parking spot for a meeting at the Middle School when practice is going on at the High School's stadium, seeing as it is practically in the front yard of the Middle School.
Yes, schools are growing tremendously in the Grovetown and Greenbrier area, why else would Grovetown High have been built. But it has long been time for other parts of Columbia County to be looked at as well. I agree that the stadium is young, and after many events I have spent there I will be sad to see it no longer used, but there has to be a better solution to the mess that everyone faces there every day.

smAShT
42
Points
smAShT 03/30/11 - 11:34 am
0
0
What a waste!!!! A new

What a waste!!!! A new stadium??? It took forever for the current stadium to get builded in the first place. Really I hope Columbia County as a whole stands up against this wasteful spending!!!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/30/11 - 11:40 am
0
0
lilfroggin. My kids don't go

lilfroggin. My kids don't go to Lakeside schools but I have plenty of friends with kids in that district. They don't complain more than any other group about carpool issues. They trudge through the line and deal with it.

Oh,and since both my kids are in athletics, I've attended plenty of extracurricular events at Lakeside. Getting out is a pain but I managed to make it home.

Yes, I'm sure it can be difficult. But we are in a huge, huge recession. I see no need to spend tens of millions of dollars so that life can be made more "convenient" for housewives & parents picking up their kids in carpool lines.

This is a waste of money. Few Columbia County citizens will disagree with me. Only the ones who want their life made easier at the expense of others.

Sweet son
10555
Points
Sweet son 03/30/11 - 11:45 am
0
0
I bet the Boosters Club is

I bet the Boosters Club is going to pay for the whole thing! LOL

smAShT
42
Points
smAShT 03/30/11 - 11:53 am
0
0
maybe "Lady A" will play

maybe "Lady A" will play there for the kids.

mtxbass1
0
Points
mtxbass1 03/30/11 - 11:56 am
0
0
COLUMBIA COUNTY -- The

COLUMBIA COUNTY -- The Columbia County Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners are teaming up for a new park.

The work will be done in two phases, near Lakeside High School's current baseball facility.

The school system is covering 44% of the cost, while the county will cover the remaining 56%.

The project will build a new stadium, tennis courts, soccer fields and more for parents and students.

County leaders say the money from SPLOST is helping pay for the work. The construction should be finished by 2015.

Irishgama
0
Points
Irishgama 03/30/11 - 12:14 pm
0
0
It figures! I don't even

It figures! I don't even live in Columbia County, but they ALWAYS favor the Lakeside/West Lake area!

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 03/30/11 - 12:22 pm
0
0
Hey can they throw in a new

Hey can they throw in a new building for the Rifle Team to practice and compete in? The weight room just doesn't cut it for spectators or the team!

corgimom
33198
Points
corgimom 03/30/11 - 12:24 pm
0
0
"How many schools in Columbia

"How many schools in Columbia County have ONE entrance into both schools. In the event of an emergency if there was no way to exit the facilities through the one entrance/exit to campus, how would all of the students, faculty and staff safely leave campus?"

The schools that I attended were on one road, with one entrance and exit, and people coped. I never heard of having two roads into a school. How does the rest of the country manage it?

When you are talking about hundreds of people and an emergency, two roads won't make any difference.

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 03/30/11 - 12:30 pm
0
0
Why does it seem that

Why does it seem that everyonebelieves only "West Lake" area kids attend LHS? Do you realize that Lakeside students also come from Flowing Wells, Old Evans, Old Petersburg roads? Not all of us parents are "well-off" as many of think. Most of us work hard to get what we have.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/30/11 - 12:36 pm
0
0
isamericafree. You make a

isamericafree. You make a good point. "Most of us work hard to get what we have." And it is now being taken from you by force, by the government, in the form of taxes, to build a new stadium. When the old one is only 16 years old.

Evans High (not my district) is the crummiest school in the county. Shouldn't that be examined first?! But no...they are not in Ron Cross' district, so they didn't win the lottery.

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 03/30/11 - 12:38 pm
0
0
Corgi, the schools I attended

Corgi, the schools I attended also only had one road in and out. However, these were also miles apart. The point being made above is, in the event of an emergency, you have THREE schools to evacuate onto ONE road. There are four schools here within 1.5 miles of each other.

Has anyone really looked to see how many schools are within a 3 mile radius over there? LHS, LMS, Blue Ridge Elem., South Columbia Elem., Stallings Island Middle, Augusta Christian Academy, Stevens Creek Elem.

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 03/30/11 - 12:46 pm
0
0
Chillen, you're right about

Chillen, you're right about LHS being in Ron Cross' district, no argument there but this area also does not have a park for our younger kids. you seem to be just focused on the stadium. Take a step back and look at the other side for a bit. A park would be nice to have in this area. Other than the ones by the judicial center, what else is there in Martinez?

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 03/30/11 - 12:47 pm
0
0
"The school system is

"The school system is covering 44% of the cost, while the county will cover the remaining 56%."

That means the taxpayer is paying 100% of this waste.

corgimom
33198
Points
corgimom 03/30/11 - 01:00 pm
0
0
IsAm, let's say that the

IsAm, let's say that the schools hypothetically have 1000 kids total.

So two roads is 500 students each.

When you are evacuating large numbers of people, there is very little difference between 1 road or two. The problem is that you still have 1000 people to evacuate with limited transportation. The roads aren't the problem. The roads are the least of the problem. It's the transportation that's the problem. Think Katrina.

Think about the hurricane evacuations. The Interstates are closed to allow one-way traffic. And it's still a God-awful mess, it's still not adequate, because of the huge number of people leaving. They double the number of roads, but it does little to solve the problem.

In any process, you can never go faster than the biggest bottleneck.

allrise
58
Points
allrise 03/30/11 - 01:07 pm
0
0
Lakeside makes the playoffs

Lakeside makes the playoffs once every twenty years and bingo gets a new stadium. If Grooms hadn't ducked out , he could have got it domed.

countyman
20243
Points
countyman 03/30/11 - 01:10 pm
0
0
Chillen, I agree Evans isn't

Chillen, I agree Evans isn't the same school compared to 5-10 years ago...

But I seriously doubt it's worse than Harlem high school...

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 03/30/11 - 01:21 pm
0
0
Point taken Corgi! :)

Point taken Corgi! :)

Allrise-that was funny!

coolerpooler
0
Points
coolerpooler 03/30/11 - 01:23 pm
0
0
I went to lakeside and

I went to lakeside and graduated a few years back so I know how out of date the facility actually is lakesides stadium is the only stadium in the area that does not have a track nor shot put or discus rings though all other schools do and if you look greenbrier and grovetown both have two different ways for student or parent to get in and out yet no one complained when greenbrier got its new entrance ways. Also if y'all go to sporting events as much as y'all say y'all do then next time look at the differences from concession stands to bathrooms to seating on home and away sides lakesides is behind all other schools in this aspect yet they have more athletic programs to use the field. Greenbrier had additions and evans got theirs overhauld but no one said anything when that happened so suck it up and let this addition be for good there will be a new park in a safe area for parents to take their kids

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs