Politics & Government

Macon-Bibb approves $18 million for park improvements, subsouth rec center plans

Macon-Bibb County will spend more than $18 million for improvements at five parks and community centers, including a new community recreation facility that’s been the focus of debates between residents who want a traditional rec center and those who wanted a large tennis complex to attract tournaments.

Commissioners approved master plans and the spending of $7.6 million on Sub-South Park, which incorporates some of the features wanted by residents and the tennis community. County officials also approved plans and funding for recreation facilities at Central City Park and renovations and expansions to the Memorial Park, Rosa Jackson and Frank Johnson recreation centers.

The first phase of Sub-South Park includes six tennis courts, two multi-purpose fields, a track, basketball gym and an outdoor pool that could be formatted to be indoors in a later phase. The subsouth facility had drawn interest from a tennis community that wanted as many as 24 courts to attract tournaments. The cost for building 24 tennis courts is about $600,000. Plans at Sub-South Park include space to add in the future the extra tennis courts and the other amenities asked for by residents. The total project would top $15 million. The next phases of development for this project and several others would be paid for by future special purpose local option sales tax money.

The Frank Johnson center will receive $903,000 for various repairs. Future phases involve plans for a new gym, walking trail, parking and more.

There also will be $3.8 million spent on the Rosa Jackson Community Center, including $800,000 for heating and air conditioning and electrical improvements.

A new pool will be among the $1.9 million spent at the Memorial Park Community Center while Central City Park will use about $4.2 million for a track, renovations of two ball fields and other changes.

To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623.