Locals push for upgrades at recreation center in Thomson

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
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THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Run-down, dirty, and unkempt is how residents describe the recreation center off Sweetwater Park Drive in Thomson.

We talked to locals who’ve been going there for decades who say they don’t want the county to let it go and the changes they want to see.

“I’ve been here since my grandchildren were little, and they’re about 38, 39 now,” said Joanne Harris, concerned citizen.

It’s a place to run and have fun, and it looks a lot different since Harris first started coming here.

“The facility has just gone down so terribly bad,” she said.

Broken windows, buildings falling apart, ripped nets, dirty bathrooms, and families are asking questions.

Lisa Clark, concerned citizen said: “We want to know. We want transparency. We want to know where the money is, and we want the facilities to be up to date and safe for our children and families to come to and play.”

The chairman of the board of commissioners says the funding comes from their SPLOST 8 funds with a total of more than $9.2 million.

They say they’ve contracted an engineering firm to demolish the old concession stand at the end of the baseball season and hope to have plans for a new building around the same time.

People like Harris say it’s taken long enough.

“It shouldn’t have taken us five years to figure out what to do out here, and if it’s taking too long, somebody’s not doing their job,” she said.

It’s more than just one building, it’s the whole park. Things that could be fixed with simple upkeep and maintenance.

“We talk about we want the children to have somewhere to go and play and stay out of trouble, well we have to have decent facilities to come to. If they aren’t decent, who wants to come out here and play,” questioned Harris.

They want their kids’ grandkids to enjoy this place too. Once the engineering firm has the plans for the new facility, they’ll be sent to commissioners to approve or change them.

Officials say they still aren’t sure how much the project will cost until they choose the company in charge of construction. We’re told the timeline is also up in the air with supply chain issues in the mix.

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