Originally created 02/06/99

Size of Patriots Park gym to double



Plans are being drafted to double the size of the gymnasium at Patriots Park in Columbia County.

The second part of a three-phase building program, this project will add a 10,000-square-foot section to the gym, including two regulation-size basketball courts or four volleyball courts, said Charlie Beale, acting Community and Emergency Services director. The addition will also include dressing rooms and either a game room or weight room.

Special purpose local option sales tax money has been allocated for the project. Built in 1994, the first phase of the gym cost about $750,000, said Mr. Beale.

"But what the first phase cost and what the second phase will cost, because of inflation, I'm scared to even guess," he said.

Plans should be ready by April, and the new addition is expected to open at the end of October.

When the special purpose sales tax comes up for a vote again in 2000, the third phase of the gym will be on the list of projects seeking funding.

Mr. Beale said plans for the third phase include four racquetball courts, additional office space, a meeting room and a game room.

The second-phase addition will create more play space for the recreation department's basketball program, which has been using courts at area middle schools to accommodate its teams. The recreation department has 950 youths ages 7 to 16 participating in its basketball program, Mr. Beale said.

Three new tennis courts are also under construction at the park.

Melissa Hall can be reached at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 113, or melhall@augustachronicle.com.