Lake Olmstead improvements are more than just a face-lift for the community around the stadium

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Communities around Lake Olmstead have needed a boost. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta announced entertainment plans for Lake Olmstead Stadium, but it’s supposed to be more than just that.

They're using this as an opportunity have a bigger reach when it comes to development.

Nearby neighborhoods and housing projects such as Olmstead Homes and the Harrisburg Community could be changed by these plans. These are areas the city is looking to transform with money from the stadium profit, tax dollars, and SPLOST money.

They say good things come to those who wait, but when you drive down parts of Lake Olmstead, the wait has taken its toll.

“This is an area I grew up in,” District 9 Commissioner Marion Williams said. “I lived in this area, and I know how poverty-stricken it is.”

One resident in the area has been living in her car for four months and can no longer afford rent in the area.

It’s just another reason leaders recognize the need there is just so great.

“If it’s not growing, it’s gon’ be dying, so I want to continue to see the growth,” one resident said.

Renovations and upgrades to the stadium at Lake Olmstead are in the works, but the effects will go far beyond fields and stage lights.

“We’ve got to be inclusive,” Williams said. “That’s what this project is going to do for this area.”

Lauren Dallas with Turn Back the Block hopes for the same.

“So hopefully development like this will shine a light on what is needed in Harrisburg,” Dallas said. “It will bring much attention to the other side of Calhoun.”

The city already has a few hundred thousand in SPLOST money dedicated to the stadium. Plus the entertainment company, C4 Live is forking out about $1 million in improvements. Those coupled with tax dollars will help Augusta reshape the landscape, and offer more housing resources for an area overwhelmed by run-down buildings, low-income, and decades of delayed growth.

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