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February 2, 2013

County revisits pool, garden issues

MILLEDGEVILLE — Thursday’s first-try work session provided the Baldwin County Commissioners quality time to discuss recreational issues such as the proposed community garden at the Collins P. Lee center and pool options.

CSH pool could be a summer substitute

A conventional design-bid-build process at the old recreational pool site is too expensive and couldn’t be done by summer. 

“To rush and construct or renovate to have the facilities would take away time to seek additional funding and keep the cost down,” county manager Ralph McMullen said. “SPLOST money isn’t available for that use right now.”

New pool layout costs more than $2 million, while minor pool and bathhouse renovations run in the $800,000 range.

Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) executive director Mike Couch brought an interesting proposal for immediate need.

The State Properties Commission plans to decommission an indoor 25-meter, 3.5-foot lap pool at Central State. A broken pump is the only thing separating the Americans with Disabilities Act-certified pool from full operation.

Since the CSHLRA is a state agency, Couch will request to keep the surplus property next week.

“We don’t need to let it go from Milledgeville and Baldwin County,” Couch said.

Sammy Hall, District 3, said access to the Central State pool gives the county a place to go. Bringing a pool to the south side of town would be another plus, according to District 4 rep Henry Craig.

“This would appear to be a wonderful transition opportunity until we have SPLOST money in the bank,” Craig said.

Markey and Associates Inc., president David Markey drafted the plans and figures for the old recreation pool’s facelift. Markey said the renovation would look like a new pool, but the entire project wouldn’t be finished by summer.

Tommy French, District 2, suggested looking at the pool project as a potentially self-sustaining operation. Having a nice lap pool, splash pad and play-pool could bring surrounding counties.

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Cade Bass practices her pitching technique at the newly opened Between the Lines 8,000-square foot indoor facility located inside the Columbia Center at 611 Hammock Rd. Members gain 24-hour access to the batting cages, tee work and soft toss training stations, pitching rubber and areas for various agility and other sport-related fitness activities.

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Baldwin High track and field senior Alashawn Grigley signed her National Letter of Intent to attend Jackson State University Thursday with teammates, family and supportive coaches present.

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