By Curt Yeomans
Residents of Lake City may soon have a place to gather for community events, ranging from covered-dish dinners, to wedding receptions and birthday parties.
The city is moving forward with plans to build a 3,756-square-foot community center, which will serve as a multi-purpose event and meeting facility for official city functions, as well as community gatherings, according to Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt. It is being built as part of a larger project that includes a new nature preserve that the city is constructing next to the Lake City Municipal Hall, on Ga. Hwy. 54.
The mayor said the facility will be built at the preserve site as a replacement for the city's former community center on North Parkway, which was torn down in February to make room for a facility that will house the city's maintenance equipment.
"We need something for our residents to have meetings, weddings, and so forth," Oswalt said. He later added: "The other [old] one -- it just had to have a lot of work done on it. It was just too small."
The city is expected to open construction bids for the facility on Aug. 11, at 2 p.m., at the Lake City Municipal Hall, 5455 Jonesboro Road, in Lake City. The town's city council is scheduled to vote on approving a recommended bid on Aug. 25, according to a request for bids advertisement that has run several times recently in the Clayton News Daily.
The new community center is included as part of the $6 million price tag that the city is paying for the city's nature preserve, according to the mayor. He said he could not provide an exact figure for the cost of specifically constructing the new community center since bids have not yet been received.
Oswalt said city officials have not yet determined a date for when they would like to see the building finished and ready to be opened to the public. He said construction will begin "as soon as [we] get the bids in, and we determine the builder, [and] then get all of his bonding done."
Oswalt said construction of the preserve, itself, should be completed by the end of August.
"It'll be a walking trail, a lake with a fountain on it, waterfalls, [and] there will be an overlook with a pavilion," Oswalt said. "It is going to be gorgeous."