Discussion where to locate the county’s aquatic center continued on Tuesday night, September 21, among county commissioners. The latest option presented by county staff would be at Cotton Fields Golf Course in McDonough.
Earlier this year, the board voted to locate the aquatic center off Jodeco Road. Since then, the land owner / developer for Bridges at Jodeco has not yet deeded the land over for the project. This has prompted some board members to begin looking elsewhere. The board asked staff to present options on county-owned property.
Golf Course Option
JP Penn — the county’s leisure and public services team lead — presented the board with a concept at Cotton Fields Golf Course. In the latest concept, the new aquatic center would be located off Industrial Blvd. A modified par 3 or executive golf course would continue to be available. Executive golf courses play quicker than a regular course, but offer some long ranges when compared to an 18-hole par three course.
Benefits of using the golf course location include the following:
- Henry County owns the property.
- All utilities, such as water and sewer, are readily available at the property.
- The site has easy access off I-75 from both exit 218 and exit 216.
- The aquatic center can be built at the highest site elevation. This offers a beautiful overlook view of the golf course.
- There exists adequate room for parking spaces.
- The adjacent aquatic center could increase revenue potential for the golf course.
- Maintenance & operations staff would be co-located for both facilities.
- There is a wide variety of restaurants and hotels in close proximity, especially off highway 20.
Cons of the golf course site include road access off Industrial Blvd. The county would need to improve the existing golf course entrance. In addition, there are no plans to widen Industrial Blvd from two to four lanes. Finally, the project would require building a new pro shop and cart barn. The county has not presently identified funding to replace the buildings.
County staff also presented Nash Farm Park as county-owned property. Staff do not recommend this site because it lacks sewer access, the distance from I-75 and the absence of nearby hotels or restaurants.
When asked about property off Henry Parkway and McDonough Parkway, staff explained this site is not large enough for the project. The property is also constrained by the adjacent old landfill – space unsuitable for building. Previously, Henry County had entered into an agreement for Kensley Grace Aquatic Center to use this location years ago.
The board took no action to decide a location during the September 21 meeting. At this time, Jodeco Road remains the primary site. Board Chair Carlotta Harrell said the board will consider voting at its next meeting on October 5. In addition, County Manager Cheri Hobson-Matthews asked board members to submit any possible locations now so staff can review them.
Featured image shows the golf course option to build an aquatic center. Photo credit Henry County.
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