Vote tonight on Lakeside stadium

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 7:46 AM
Last updated 8:07 AM
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Work will soon begin to develop a new athletic complex behind Lakeside High School.

Tonight Columbia County commissioners are expected to approve a $3.1 million bid for site preparation for the complex, planned for 70 acres behind the school’s baseball fields.

The Board of Education and the county are sharing the first-phase costs of the project, which would prepare the site for construction, county Construction and Maintenance Division Director Matt Schlachter said at the June 26 public works committee meeting.

The $3.1 million bid item was placed on the commission’s consent agenda.

“This is about $1.7 million less than we had budgeted,” Schlachter said. “We got some really good bids there.”

Phase one includes installation of water, sewer and stormwater systems, building the main road and rough grading of the entire site.

“Phase one is basically us getting the site prepared for future growth,” Schlachter said.

The school system and county are sharing site-preparation expenses. Because each owns 35 acres of the property, each side will be developed separately after the first phase, Schlachter said.

But each will share full use of the complex amenities. The finished complex, originally expected to cost about $12 million, will include:

• A 3,000- to 4,000-seat football stadium and accompanying multipurpose practice field, weight room and fieldhouses.

• Four regulation-sized soccer fields, along with an additional championship soccer field.

• A baseball field and soccer field with batting cages in between

• Track and field accommodations, including an eight-lane track.

• A six-court tennis facility.

• And walking trails and playgrounds.

Site work is expected to begin in August and last about six months, Schlachter said.

Upon its completion, the project will provide a second entrance to the Lakeside complex, with access leading to Evans to Locks Road.

The facility also will connect to county-owned green space that adjoins Reed Creek Nature Center on Furys Ferry Road.

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Riverman1
86917
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Riverman1 07/17/12 - 08:25 am
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A fantastic facility. It's

A fantastic facility. It's not behind the school though.

db16
95
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db16 07/17/12 - 08:26 am
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Interesting...

This project is just now going to start...at a total cost of? The article only tells us about Phase 1 @ $3.1 Million and lasting 6 months. This will basically put the first phase completion directly in the middle of Lakeside Baseball's Season...Does anyone know where they will play their games because that access road goes directly through their new $35,000 Hitting Facility and towards left field, then makes a hard left hand turn @ 2nd Base and out behind the 3rd base dugout. Again, another project for that side of the county with a hidden agenda and the 'Keeping up with the Jones' mentality. Can't have the Evans area with Blanchard Woods & Greenbrier/Grovetown with Patriots Park...and leave Lakeside behind. Great planning with County $$. How much was the budget shortfall this year? How many teachers positions were cut? How large are teachers class sizes? Again, poor fiscal planning. Champagne tastes with Beer Drinkers pockets will destroy you...every time!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 07/17/12 - 09:17 am
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Don't know if this is an

Don't know if this is an issue where the planners' grasp exceeded their vision as the comment suggests. Keeping up with the Jones's has always been a pasttime in Col County so nothing to gasp at. I am so in favor of utilizing the Greenway from Reed Creek Nature Center to the school and I would suggest they go on and connect up Old Evans Road as the easement already extends that far.

db16
95
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db16 07/17/12 - 09:28 am
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Agreed...

David, I agree with you. The utilization of that Greenway should be a focus and should be considered, however this should be something that the County should consider...not the BOE. Look around the county...There are Elementary Schools that should be rebuilt, there is a Middle School in Harlem that has been around since the Underground Railroad was under construction, there is a dire need to alleviate overcrowding in Grovetown's Schools, etc. There are so many other ways that the $12,000,000 can be spent that would improve 'Student Learning' and update/construct needed facilities...I just think the prioritization of this one is horrible. Why on God's Green Earth does Lakeside need a 'College Athletic Complex?' Especially after all of the $$ that was just poured into their Football and Baseball Facilities...

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 07/17/12 - 09:40 am
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This should help with the

This should help with the graduation rates and college readiness.

db16
95
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db16 07/17/12 - 10:07 am
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Afterthought?

Who is going to be responsible for the upkeep of these facilities? Will it be the Lakeside Coaching Staff? Will it be Columbia County Government Employees? Will it be CCBOE's FMO Department? That is a whole lot of Grass to cut...a whole bunch of Fields to Line...A pretty substantial Football Stadium to clean...etc. I don't think there is a soul in the LHS that will cut all of those fields for the supplement given. Not to mention, Lakeside Football will be the only Team in the county that will have to drive to their Home Games...that will be a good 1/2 mile walk down to their Football, Soccer, Baseball and Tennis facilities. I wonder if they can hire a Disney World type of Shuttle/Tram to run every 20 minutes? Just some food for thought...

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 07/17/12 - 10:07 am
1
1
I'm confused....

Maybe I am missing something but why is this complex more important that teachers salaries and other needed educational tools? They talk about cuts to education all the time yet millions are about to be spent on this sports complex. Way to go CC, we know where your priorities are! Was that a joke insider information?

fiscallyresponsible
141
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fiscallyresponsible 07/17/12 - 10:08 am
3
1
Wasteful.

Just another example of wasteful spending in Columbia County. Lakeside has a stadium and its not very old. If secondary access is an issue then just put a road in. There, I just saved you guys about 30 million dollars.

Washington Rd Construction/Expansion in Evans is a FAR better use of funds since there are routine wrecks at the newly paved Knob Hill Farm Rd and Washington Rd due to thousands of Knob Hill residents turning left there daily now. Not to mention the mile or 2 back up there every single day.

But no........Lakeside needs a new stadium, we need MORE soccer fields, we need STATE OF THE ART FACILITIES you peons!!!! Forget about the road safety and basic infrastructure repair & maintenance and development.

Oh yea, I'm sure it's a "different budget". How convenient and expected.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 07/17/12 - 10:10 am
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@db16

Our tax payer dollars at work will most likely pay for the upkeep.....

db16
95
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db16 07/17/12 - 10:17 am
2
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@ Still...

Without a doubt...I think that we have enough clients in the CCDC that we should be able to maintain those fields without having to increase the workload on our CC Gov't Employees!!! But wait until they see that all of those fields need to be cut about 2 times per week...and the time it takes to do it. There will be a staff completely devoted to that facility alone...PP Planning...

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 07/17/12 - 10:20 am
2
0
Following Richmond County's lead

College quality football stadium are essential to quality education. Just look at how much they have boosted Richmond County's test scores and graduation rates.

Richmond County is the pinnacle of academic excellence and scholarly pursuit.

Columbia County just wants to follow Richmond County's lead.

Little Lamb
46920
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Little Lamb 07/17/12 - 11:40 am
1
1
Strange

It seems strange to me that there are two football fields, one baseball field, one softball field, but five soccer fields. Has soccer overtaken our national pastime that much in popularity?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 07/17/12 - 01:01 pm
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Consider where the middle

Consider where the middle school is situated. It's directly adjacent to current Panther Stadium. For the middle schoolers to have an outdoor space for recess or breaks, they are resolved to stand in the direct sun with nowhere to sit. I can't say that it takes a 12 million dollar makeover to solve this dilema, but something had to give.

Little Lamb
46920
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Little Lamb 07/17/12 - 01:34 pm
0
1
Vitamin D

Well, at least they get their RDA of vitamin D during recess.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 07/18/12 - 11:43 am
0
0
melatonin rulez!

melatonin rulez!

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