Should Augusta sink more money into troubled boathouse?

They used $500,000 from the Parks and Recs SPLOST 7 fund for the emergency removal of the mold.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - At Tuesday’s Augusta Commission meeting, Central Services Department officials weighed in on an almost $6 million estimate to completely fix up the Augusta Boathouse.

All of it revolves around repairs to the outside decking, rails and completely remodeling the inside kitchen, floors, and bathrooms.

This inside work comes as a hefty bill because Central Services is saying mold has spread into the building after a winter pipe bust.


“The more it grows the more toxic it is. And at this point, we believe that the mold has spread to underneath the floor and inside the walls, which has driven up the pricing,” said Central Services Interim Director Ron Lampkin.

Commissioners approved $500,000 in emergency funds to deal with removing the mold and next week they’ll hear a few other estimates and some second opinions for repairs.

Rows of rowers came out to support their rowing club.

“It was nice to have the kids here a learn a little bit about how local government works. You know, some of them took a school day and learned something about local government,” said Augusta Rowing Club Head Coach Brad Holdren.

Holdren has been running the team for eight years and wanted to be there as the city figures out the 1996 lease and whose responsible for the recent damage at the boat house.

“I’m not sure the lawyers have a full understanding of the agreement,” he said. “As I’ve always understood it, the contract basically says we’re responsible for repairing our stuff, our areas, and anything that we’re responsible for damaging.”

They used $500,000 from the Parks and Recs SPLOST 7 fund for the emergency removal of the mold.

Lampkin said: “You run into warm weather, now you got the air conditioner on; that air is not fresh. So we have to get that done in order for the rowing club to be able to get back into their building and operate properly downstairs.”

Johnson says he prefers to level the whole thing and start new.

“We need to put a marquee facility on our river that the community can be proud of. I grew up down in District 1, not very far from the boathouse, and it’s a shame of the condition that it’s in now,” he said.

They still don’t know who will foot the bill, but the rowing club is taking Tuesday’s money as a win.

“They say, ‘are you doing enough’ and I say ‘I’m trying,’” said Holdren.

Central Services is coming back next week with more estimates so the city can see if the boathouse really is a $6 million fix.