BOC splits in selecting aquatic center site

Photo of swimmer in a lap in a pool (Pexels photo)

Henry County commissioners discussed site selection for the county’s planned aquatic center during their meeting on Wednesday, January 6. The venue headlines the SPLOST V program with a project budget of $22 million dollars.

Board members split 3-3 in making the site selection. Chair Harrell, Commissioners Wilson and Barham voted in favor of Red Hawk Park; Commissioners Clemmons, Thomas, and Holmes voted in support of Mill Road.

The site selection must be reconsidered again in the future before county staff proceed forward with the next steps. Commissioner Thomas volunteered to further research the two sites and bring that information back to the board.

Board presented four sites

County staff presented the board with four locations to consider:

  • Mill Road near Jonesboro Road
  • Willow Lane at Bridges Road
  • Jodeco Road at Tunis Road
  • Red Hawk Park off Henry Parkway

The county’s aquatic center consultant, Bob McCallister, recommended the Red Hawk Park location. His recommendation was based on the county already owning the land, existing grading completed on site, and transportation infrastructure surrounding the location.

Commissioners Clemmons and Holmes voiced opposition to the consultant’s recommendation. They commented it was not central to the county and was an inappropriate location due to the nearby county jail. The board members advocated for Mill Road instead.

Mill Road location

The Mill Road property is located at 243 Mill Road, south of Peachtree Peddler’s Flea Market. According to Commissioner Clemmons, the property owner intends to donate the land for the aquatic center. The center requires approximately six to eight acres for construction.

The current property owner is C S Lee Limited Partnership of Midland, MI. The Jordan Company of Columbus, GA is in negotiations to purchase the land. They have met with the county attorney about donating part of the property after acquiring it. The total site acreage is 42.4 +/- acres.

Planned transportation improvements in the area include a roundabout at Mill Road and Mt Carmel, and sidewalks along Mill Road. Funds for a possible widening of Mill Road to four lanes are not presently budgeted.

Future Aquatic Center

The aquatic center will most likely include an indoor 50-meter competition pool, a 45-foot by 75-foot instructional / therapy pool, and a moderately sized outdoor water park. Parking requirements include 300 spaces for regular use and an additional 300 spaces for large events. The county’s consultant estimates the $22 million dollar budget will be sufficient to build the venue. Final costs depend on land acquisition and site development costs.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. The website provides local news coverage in Henry County, Georgia.