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$850K price tag put on expanding Gathering Place for bridge games

Adding another large room and a similarly sized unfinished basement to the Gathering Place senior citizen’s center would cost an estimated $850,000, the Peachtree City Council was told Tuesday night at a workshop meeting.

If the question is whether or not to pursue the project, city residents will get to have their say on the matter. That’s because the city is including the expansion project as a question on the annual city survey, which is expected to be finalized at the beginning of the year.

As for the Gathering Place expansion, it would add a finished 3,750-square-foot “large room” to the building and a basement of similar size that would remain unfinished for now but primed for future expansion if needed.

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch said she worried that if the expansion was approved by council, city staff would have to spend significant effort in seeking rentals to offset the expenses.

Although the expansion would be put on the citizen survey, Councilman Eric Imker said a high percentage of support would not guarantee the project would go ahead. Instead, other factors will have to be taken into account as well, he added.

Imker has suggested asking city residents to pay a one-time property tax increase to fund the construction instead of financing the project over 15 years at an estimated cost of $6.80 per year for a home with a fair market value of $200,000.

The overcrowding of the Gathering Place came up as a topic several months ago when the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau moved the visitors center to the box office of the city amphitheater, which is immediately next door to the Gathering Place. A bridge group has met routinely at one of the box office’s larger rooms because there is no space available for them to play at the Gathering Place, officials said.

Leisure Services Director Randy Gaddo said the Gathering Place schedule on weekdays carves out about 70 percent of its time for free or low cost programming while the other 30 percent goes to fee-based classes and other rentals, and the balance becomes 50-50 on the weekends with more demand for facility rental.

Gaddo also suggested the facility could be rented more for wedding events and the like if the city allowed alcohol to be served there, but council decided to seek more information on that before making a decision.

Last year the Gathering Place had 76 rentals for about $14,000 in revenue for occasions such as family reunions, birthday parties and receptions, Gaddo said.



Just say "NO" again and again....and again. A thousand times "NO" to this waste of public funds. There exists no empirical evidence or research of any kind to indicate a need for this expensive "trophy" and further fleecing of the taxpayers. NOBODY is really going to rent out this substandard facility for any kind of decent event.
NO, NO, NO! Don't you ever get it?


mudcat's picture

First of all, you can play bridge in someone's dining room or better yet the Towne Club has lots of room - why not rent from them instead of spending $850,000 (actually lot's more if the city finance this over 15 years). In fact Towne Club might offer the space for bridge for free just to get people in the facility. Anybody asked? Bernie? Randy? Don? Betsy? Come on folks, just once act like you were a business entrusted with other people's money instead of having knee-jerk government response to a survey filled out by a disproportionate number of one special interst group - the bridge club.

And what is it with $850,000? Isn't that the same amount of money the Brown regime spent buying a piece of land in front of Wynmeade for a bridge that couldn't be built because they didn't have any land on the other side of the road? Is there some glitch in the city's accounting software that everytime it sees the word "bridge" it automatically spits out a cost of $850,000? We need to get that fixed. If we keep wasting money like this, we could get into a finacial crisis. Oh wait, we already are.

....if "bridge" was all it was about!

This "headline," $850,000 for ...bridge games, is another "scare headline," such as we have had in this paper recently!

Anyone with a gram of brain knows it isn't JUST for playing bridge. It is for our elderly citizens to have a decent meeting place. They can also play bridge if some want to do so.

Suggesting that we tack a "one-time' fee to our home taxes to pay for it is also a method of totally killing the whole project, which is what is wanted---another method to say "we tried."

Raise the money privately to expand it--appoint a citizen chairman and allow him or her to sign up a few more to help.

As to all that work we would be adding to the staff of the city, I really feel sorry for their "hard" work."
All of those who don't want to cooperate, let them go.

There are contractors floating around right now needing a project such as this just to break even and stay in business--many could also design it within the price. A guesstimate would be $350-400,000----done well.

Is Rahm Emanuel available until he becomes Mayor of Chicago to head up this project?

There is little hope for the elderly or teenagers in PTC!

Cyclist's picture

[quote=Courthouserules].... It is for our elderly citizens to have a decent meeting place. They can also play bridge if some want to do so.
[/quote] play bridge? ☺

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

No, I think bridge is boring and wasteful of time. I do know how but prefer 5 0r 7 card stud.

You can't fix stupid!

stupidest things I have read in a long time and believe me there are many stupid things out there! We are being nickle and dimed to death as it is--always we hear/read--it will only add $6,$7,$10 a month--well all those little additions eventually end up being quite a hunk. I would think for that amount of money an entirely new building could be erected. Just how many bridge tables do they need? If this expenditure was to add more money to the city's coffers from guaranteed rental fees to offset this expense, that is one thing. We have held luncheons with 60-70 people there and had ample room. Now is not the time to be adding things we may want but do not need. Please, commissioners and all the 'powers that be'--let common sense prevail and put this ridiculous idea to rest once and for all.

We have no Commissioners in PTC!

As to the building size increase, within five years half of our population will be over 65! (WW2 baby Boomers!
Someone has to think ahead since most don't.

think ahead but you think behind, on the left, on the right and underneath each and every subject. Since you are such a future thinking sort of guy, why don't you run for Mayor at the next election? Just think, you could carry the vote just by voting all your selves,
I would think you would not even need a fourth for bridge since you, yourself could make up several tables.

What on earth are you talking about and what has it got to do with PTC Commissioners? We don't have any that I know about!

It does seem that so many on here find it hard to carry on a conversation or comment about most subjects.

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