2016 was another active and productive year for the PARKS team managing projects under the 2011 PRCA SPLOST program, which is now 93 percent complete. We are also well underway with designs and construction planning for projects to be completed under the 2016 PRCA SPLOST program.
To ensure available funding stretches as far as possible, PARKS staff is directly involved in many of the construction activities, ranging from building construction, roof replacements and painting to laser grading and athletic field construction.
The majority of work continues to be in selecting and managing the efforts of a variety of professional architecture/engineering firms and construction contractors, remaining on budget and on schedule. An added challenge is to perform this work safely in our parks with the least possible disruption to the athletic schedules and activities of our users and volunteers.
A few examples of the projects completed during 2016:
Cobb County Civic Center Renovation and Expansion
With a construction cost of $5.628 million, the civic center renovation is one of the signature projects of the 2011 PARKS SPLOST. The existing building has been upgraded to meet modern codes, including a new kitchen to support large events, new break out meeting rooms and expanded restroom capacity.
A major new addition has been constructed at the front of the building, which houses a large pre-function area, new offices and ticketing and a large new meeting room that can be subdivided. Construction was completed in March 2016.
The parking lots and access roadways were also repaved at a cost of $311,587.79 and new light poles and LED lighting fixtures were installed in the main parking lot at a cost of $106,000.
Sweat Mountain Park Renovation
The renovation of Sweat Mountain Park was completed in August, at a cost of $1.388 million. The project consisted of the reorientation of several baseball fields into a four-field hub alignment, the renovation of a fifth field, the construction of a new concession/restroom building, improvements at the adjacent dog park and related paving improvements.
Wild Horse Creek Park Renovation and Improvements
Major upgrades to Wild Horse Creek Park began in 2015 with the creation of the Seven Springs Water Park and continued into 2016 with two additional significant projects. The first project involved the construction of a new concession/restroom building and a new maintenance building, the conversion of one softball field into a football field and the renovation of the adjacent existing football field, drainage improvements and the installation of new park-wide water lines to serve domestic and fire protection water needs. The project was completed in November, at a cost of almost $1,863 million.
The second project involved the demolition of the park’s outdated BMX bicycle track and construction of a new state-of-the-art BMX track in the footprint of an underused baseball field. The new location better serves park circulation and also uses existing sports lighting, saving the expense of installing new lighting. The project was completed in October at a cost of $598,822 and will host a nationwide racing event in spring 2017.
Jim R. Miller Park
Two new restroom buildings were completed in April, greatly expanding comfort and access for park visitors. One of the new buildings is located in the plaza near the equestrian arena and the other one is on Camp Road. Construction cost for these structures was $804,205.
Paving and Striping Projects in Several Parks
Repaving of parking lots and access roadways was completed in 2016 at Lions Park/South Cobb Community Center, Wallace Park and Hurt Road Park. Similar projects are underway at Fair Oaks Park, Rhyne Park and Fullers Park, and will be completed early in 2017. New pavement striping was completed in more than 25 parks across the county.
Selected Projects Currently Underway or in Planning for 2017
Mabry Park: Construction documents are currently being prepared for Mabry Park and the access roadway connecting the park to Wesley Chapel Road.
Jim R. Miller exhibit hall: Architectural and engineering designs are underway for the addition of a major exhibit hall to replace buildings A and B at the park. In addition, a new maintenance building will be completed early in 2017.
Conversion of athletic fields to artificial turf: Engineering and planning documents will be prepared to convert Bermuda grass multi-purpose fields to artificial turf surfaces at Huber Soccer Complex (four fields), Mud Creek Soccer Complex (three fields) and Terrell Mill Park (one field).
PARKS main office building: Architectural and engineering plans are underway for the replacement of the main office building on County Services Parkway. Improvements to the associated small engine repair shop are included in this project.
County-wide parks master plan: A comprehensive master plan for the Cobb County Parks System will be completed in 2017.