Work on park will begin soon

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Talk of changing a vacant Evans field into an Evans Town Center Park will soon be revived as bond money becomes available for the popular recreation and event site.

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Brian Crandall, a volunteer golf instructor at First Tee, practices at the Evans Field across the street from the Columbia County Justice Center. Funds from a more than $43 million bond issue will allow development of the field into Evans Town Center Park.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Brian Crandall, a volunteer golf instructor at First Tee, practices at the Evans Field across the street from the Columbia County Justice Center. Funds from a more than $43 million bond issue will allow development of the field into Evans Town Center Park.

"We're looking initially to go ahead and work on a master plan and get some public input,'' Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said.

The undeveloped field behind the Evans Kroger off Washington Road, which the county purchased from Doctors Hospital for $4 million, is an area where dog trainers often meet and children fly kites.

A total of $4.8 million to reimburse the county for the park and improvements there was included in a $43-million-plus bond issue voters approved in November. County commissioners are now awaiting the bond funds and plan to begin the projects Feb. 14.

It was more than a year ago that county officials publicly unveiled a plan for the 17-acre field and asked residents to fill out a survey about what they wanted for the park. Since then, a drawing has been presented to the public, but nothing else has occurred.

The original drawing called for a lawn area, which would be large enough to have a championship-size soccer field, and two secondary lawn areas, all bordered and separated by trees.

A 100-by-600-foot mall area bordered by trees also was included between two of the lawns, as was a fountain at the center of the mall and a playground nearby. The plan also included a plaza, restrooms, bike and walking paths, a multipurpose pavilion, and parking on the perimeter.

For now, Mr. Cross said, electrical service will be improved at the field and a portable restroom that has been at the new Evans library site will be moved to the field.

"So that work will go on rather soon, and then we'll start looking at the overall plan of do we want to pursue what we had before as a concept or do we want to make changes to it,'' he said.

Mr. Cross said a committee made up of county staff members and citizens will probably be created in the next four to six weeks to examine possible plans.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 02/08/07 - 05:54 am
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Why can't the field just be

Why can't the field just be left as a field? Watch and see how the government will spend all this money on the place and, somehow, muck it up!
It's nice the way it is, and when they cram all those things in there, the fields that people now play in will be much smaller and cramped.

whynot2
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whynot2 02/08/07 - 06:47 am
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Why more walking and bike

Why more walking and bike paths. They just built one behind the government building. I also thought the Evans to Locks path was to extend to the Govt. complex? Where did that money go? Such as waste of money.

jaschild
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jaschild 02/08/07 - 08:07 am
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don't we have enough soccer

don't we have enough soccer fields?!?! i agree with buckydawg. leave it a field; an open area for ALL to enjoy. using this as another sports venue would lessen the attraction for those who want to enjoy the greenspace.

hmm
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hmm 02/08/07 - 12:51 pm
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I think this is a great idea!

I think this is a great idea! This will make a nice addition to a part of town that is now being over run by big business. We can be thankful that the land is not being used for a new wal-mart.

3M3T1B
9
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3M3T1B 02/08/07 - 01:03 pm
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Stop the planning. Leave the

Stop the planning. Leave the field the way it is. It is up to us citizens to stand up and be heard. Go to the meetings and voice your concerns. And don't back off and get lazy or that wide open field will be over developed. How can you fly kites with trees, paved paths/walkways, fountains and soccer fields in the way. And where will they fly those really cool remote control planes. Ron Cross keep your money grubbing, greedy, rat fingers off our field.

addisons65
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addisons65 02/08/07 - 09:25 pm
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I agree with everyone who

I agree with everyone who wants the field left as it is. Leave it open so there can be a place to fly kites and fly the airplanes. The field is big enough to allow for both! Why not spend the money on education! Maybe spend some on upgrading the counties outlying libraries. It's amazing what government wastes/spends money on! Development is nice, but like everything else, too much of a good thing can be bad.

iletuknow
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iletuknow 02/09/07 - 02:59 am
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No one can make any money off

No one can make any money off of kite flying and flying airplanes unless you will have to have a permit!

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