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PTC set to borrow and spend more than $400K to fix up building for seniors

Plans to renovate the former recreation administration building in Peachtree City are expected to proceed in an effort to have the building used for senior leisure programs offered by Fayette Senior Services.

The building, located off McIntosh Trail in the Shakerag recreation complex that includes the Gathering Place, has been vacant since the recreation department last year was reorganized and moved to offices at the Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center.

The low bidder, Albion Scaccia at $363,625, is expected to be approved by the City Council Thursday night. The city will spend another $52,000 in construction administration fees with Pond and Company, the city’s building engineering consulting firm which will manage the project on-site including the monitoring of work.

There are hopes that the project will remain under its original budget of $462,000 so a front entrance driveway and enhanced handicapped parking can be added, along with a new exterior awning and exterior painting. All of those extras put together would cost $46,000.

The renovations are being funded with $3 million borrowed using the public facilities authority bond that was approved by council last year.

A big part of the cost is due to reinforcements needed for the flooring system because the building is moving from an office use to an assembly use, city officials have said previously.



Mike King's picture

With a budget of nearly $30 million, most would understand that required renovation of $400K could have been budgeted without asking for another loan. This project has not come as a surprise since the 'purge' of a couple years ago was supposed to save the city roughly the same amount over these two plus years.

Add this to the looming EEOC settlement and a bevy of pending lawsuits and we can easily see the consequences of electing empty suits.

Just for clarification- this isn't a new loan. It's the same facilities bond issue that the previous council passed last year.

Mike King's picture

A little more than two years ago the Recreation Department Director and others were let go. If one does the math, the supposed savings would amount to a tad bit more than $400K. Now, please explain where those savings have been spent while you keep digging into that $10M bond.

Debt is debt, and most of us would prefer the city paying as you go. Or is this too novel an approach for those elected?

I agree that we should pay as we go as much as possible- I campaigned against the facilities bond. That said, hindsight is 20/20- we did need part of this bond issue. The bond has been used to repair infrastructure that had been neglected for many years. I would not have supported the money for the bubble- the facility should be privatized. Otherwise, we had too many issues to pay as we go. The tennis courts were in terrible condition. There were major cracks running down some courts- these cracks were actually safety issues. Some courts were closed. One court was built on what amounted to a dump site for construction materials. This court developed a sink hole. The amphitheater had some major issues that needed to be addressed. There were hundreds of additional projects that needed to be completed. The "sins of our fathers" would prevent us from paying as we go. The city had been grossly mismanaged. This was NOT a problem with the employees. It was a problem with the previously elected leadership. Kim, Eric and Vanessa requested this bond issue to address the myriad of problems facing the city.

The 400k we voted on last night will upgrade the building to a code standard that will allow it to be utilized for public gatherings and senior programing. Currently, it is not up to code for such use. Currently, it can only be used as office space. During the meeting when we initially discussed this (in July) Councilman Imker and I both looked to cut as much as possible from this "upgrade". Due to our stringent code requirements, there was not much that we could cut.

Even if the greying of PTC reverses itself, the building will still be able to be programed for other uses. This was also one of the projects that was allocated in planning for the bond.

My hopes are that once we repair all of this infrastructure, we will be in a position to pay as we go. It will be up to the electorate to ensure we have leadership in place with the fiscal backbone to do this.

Mike King's picture

Since the contracting of Fayette Senior Services by Council, is there relief? Probably not, since they were given free reign to Peachtree City facilities without having to cover any overhead. Care to comment?

NUK_1's picture

Nice post and I'm liking your thoughts and insight here. It's probably because I happen to agree with you, especially the "The city had been grossly mismanaged" part :) Too true.

I just hope the actions of this council are not nearly as counter-productive and actually destructive as what we saw back when the Brown Council decided things needed to be changed and re-organized with stupid "Tourist Authorities" and other nonsense that left a huge mess that Logsdon and crew subsequently kicked down the road and etc. etc.

call it backa#$wards. The "city" decides we need more space for seniors. For what? Card games and exercise classes mostly. So, they go to Fayette Senior Services and get them to agree to contract to run the programs..another outsourcing to save money. The city promises FSS use of the rec. admin. building.."Oh, it's empty, not being used, we'll give it to you for nothing...blah blah blah".

Did any one person on staff or council have this building checked out for this higher volume usage BEFORE signing a written agreement with FSS that they will have use of it? Heck, no. Sign the agreement, brag about the new and improved senior services PTC has, THEN have an engineer check to see if it is structurally safe. Which it is not. Much less, it sits on a steep slope.

There is less parking available there than in many residential driveways in PTC. Where are these elderly participants going to park in the heat of summer and in the rain? Enhanced handicap parking? Where?

For those less than a fraction of a percent who will use this facility when it is all spiffed up, I sure hope they look around and appreciate that they are playing bridge in a half million dollar debt-ridden room that we will be paying for for the next 15 years or more. How freakin' logical is that?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Office use to assembly use? What does that even mean? If we are talking about the floor system, an office is designed to hold a group of people standing or sitting for a meeting or even a Christmas party. How does somebody figure a bunch of seniors sitting abound playing cards will weigh so much more that we need to spend $400k? This does not make any sense unless the building was unsound from the day it was built? If that is it, the city should be honest about that and maybe not use that builder on future projects.

I can understand if they need to add some ramps and extra exit doors, but it says they are improving the structure of the floor. So what gives?

Live free or die!

An office bldg and Assembly Bldg are designed to support a set weight per square foot. Both are different.

For example, an office bldg would support 1 person for every 64 sf of space (8'x8' cubicle)
An Assembly Bldg may have to support 8 people within the same footprint.

Of course there are variables such as file cabinets that have a lot of dead weight, but this is the basic highlight.

All of this is based on bldg codes for each governing body having jurisdiction. These codes don't care if the occupants are senior citizens who weigh 110 lbs or a college football team with a weight of 250 lbs.

I have never been inside this bldg, but if you have to remove ceilings, lighting, HVAC duct, and plumbing to install the floor reinforcing, than there could be a large expense.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Somecouncil in the past built a building in a recreational area and missed the possibility that "floor loads" and sprinkler systems might be needed in the future Who were these bozos who approved this building Guessing Lenox and his crew, but would really like to know who is so insular and blind to the future. How can anyone or anycouncil do something so stupid?

Methinks making a stronger floor when the building was built would cost about $12 instead of the $400k today. So, who are the dopes in this who failed to look ahead?

Live free or die!

Let's look on the bright side, shall we? This building wasn't built to store a three quarter million dollar piece vinyl bubble, either, but your tax dollars at work have it all tucked away.

So, you can actually have two hundred 60-70 year old boomers upstairs doing a Woodstock weekend groovy dance fest every week after what will be the new federal law legalizing weed for everyone (especially for arthritis relief in aging boomers-part of your new Obamacare-an ounce a month allotment at no charge) that is sure to pass in 2013. OR you can have the bubble room OR....both. We don't want to risk 200 stoned boomers crashing thru a weak floor and harming the bubble down below, now do we? However, the cost to find a new location for that is yet to be determined. A minor detail, for just a small cost, of course. So, who are we to call them dopes? They had this all figured out from way back on Day 1, fer sure, man.

more and let us all know what it says.

You've never remodeled anything in your home?

NUK_1's picture

It was built to be an office building with offices and walls inside. Imagine that!
The day that any gov't building is built for multi-use of any kind in the future is also the day that taxpayers are going to howl over just how much that costs.

Building was built with the intention of being office space for the Rec Admin. It did exactly that until the city decided to consolidate and move them over to Kedron. This isn't "poor planning" on the city's part.

There additional requirements due to the maximum capacity of the building being greatly increased. The sprinkler system, I believe was one of the more expensive items.

400K of that bond was never to have been used for this asinine remodel. NO one on council or staff checked the stability of this building before signing a contract with FSS to have use of it for their programs. FSS programs were to start last Jan. or Feb., right after the agreement was signed. Ask anyone at FSS if they would have agreed to this if they had known it would take a year or probably close to two years from the time they signed to the time it is now taking to get this building ready. This bond was taken out because it is and has been a blank check for any and all projects council decides to approve. Staff can't even keep up with ways to spend this borrowed money. How about a discussion of how much we are paying in interest on this already borrowed money while it just sits there, not being spent?

Wait till you see what he has in store for further debt to do basic maintanance on the the cart paths and streets come next year for 2014.

The mayor has his committee working on a survey to gauge our wants and needs. I am looking forward to this.

Our basic maintenance budget has been slowly cut from the budgets and you are right, we are about to pay the piper. The city cut too much too fast in order to keep our taxes low and the politicians to keep thier jobs. In contrast, the BOE didn't cut fast enough and now we will most likely have drastic cuts in services.

Have a nice weekend.

Sure you are looking forward to it. Sure you are sweetcheeks.

Little sarcasm

FSS did start programing in Peachtree City this year, at the Gathering Place.

in in Jan., I am giving you a pass on this. Do your research and get up to date on the timeline.
When was the agreement signed? Ask Debbie Britt about what was agreed upon. Oops, she just ducked out, ask her if any of this mess gave her one of many reasons to want to leave, in addition to the difficulty of begging for funding to keep FSS financially healthy (blame that on the economy). But that's a whole other can o' worms yet to come forward. When was the evaluation done to expose the fact that this building was in no condition to be used for FSS for the purposes they outlined to the city? There is just about nothing going on at the current building that wasn't going on before they took it over, that is why the city wanted to get rid of the management of it..it's a money loser for the taxpayers..big time. The only possibility of making more money is to expand the programming and to do that they need much more space, that is why they were promised the additional building and why they agreed to take over management. So, now it is a money loser for FSS, too.

I'm impressed. You have really true knowledge about this topic. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. I keep it for future use.
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