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$74K earmarked for rec building remodel; total cost originally estimated at $553K

Peachtree City will spend up to $74,000 to design renovations for the former recreation administration building which is being repurposed for senior citizen activities.

The catch is that the preliminary price tag for construction is $553,000. One of the big reasons for the high cost is that the building’s use is going from an office type occupancy to an “assembly occupancy.”

Since the building will need to handle the weight load of more people at one time than its original design, it will need structural upgrades such as additional flooring support and a new sprinkler system, according to city staff. Those costs alone account for nearly $200,000 of the total.

Other renovations including some demolition, new walls, ceilings, electrical and replacement of the 16-year-old heating and cooling system will cost an estimated $184,000 of the total.

Yet another $114,000 was initially planned for a proposed drive-under canopy, though Community Services Director Jon Rorie told the City Council Thursday that could be downsized in cost significantly, perhaps being accomplished for about 30 percent of that figure.

The project, if ultimately approved for construction, would be paid for with revenues from a $3 million facilities bond issued by the city to pay for facility repairs and upgrades. Council approved the design plans unanimously at its June 7 council meeting.

The city needs the design plans before a final decision can be made on the project.

The cost estimates were provided by the city’s consulting engineering firm, Pond and Company, which will also perform the design work proposed by city staff.

Rorie told council last week that it will take eight to 10 weeks to get the design going, which means construction will likely be pushed to the winter months. That will work out well with the schedule for other improvements in the area to the sewer line and amphitheater upgrades as well, Rorie noted.

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch noted that the cost will end up being around $68 a square foot, which is cheaper than the cost of $226 a square foot proposed several years ago for an expansion of The Gathering Place.

Rorie noted that demographic shifts in the city have shown an 8 percent increase in the number of residents over 50 years old.

Once complete, the former recreation administration building would be used to offer additional senior programming above what is already being provided at The Gathering Place next door. The Gathering Place is currently being operated by Fayette Senior Services, which will also assume operations of the renovated recreation building once it is complete.

A first phase of the renovations will include leaving room for an elevator to reach the bottom (basement) floor which can be upgraded in a second phase, Rorie noted.

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Starr's Mill teacher Walt Ellison
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