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Recreational renovations

By Blake Williams

As announced on Facebook by County Administrator Guy Singletary, the Swainsboro Emanuel County Recreational Department will be receiving three new grants that will be used to improve some of the existing facilities and bringing in new ones. “It is very rare that grants like these come up where it’s not only available but it’s for something you need,” Singletary said. Governor Brain Kemp released fund allocated to outdoor activities. Knowing the competition to gain these grants would be hard, three applications were written in hopes to gain at least one of the two million dollar grants; the county was granted all three grants.

What are these grants for? What are they going to do? First we are going to look at what the Rec. department needs. The Connie Knight Gym has its fair share of issues that need to be fixed. The floor needs to be replaced. The bathroom and locker rooms need to be renovated. The offices need renovating as well. Not to mention the roof leaks. So the main priority of the grants are to fix the gym. This would go to a new roof, floor, and renovation of the interior.

Second on the to do list would be the softball and baseball complexes. Both need body repair to the fencing, fields, press boxes, and bathrooms. Main focus is to fix lighting and renovate and/or rebuild the press boxes. The new editions would include new playground equipment, either bricking or blocking the backstops of the field, new netting, new sidewalk and new dugouts. The county plans to stretch the two million as much as possible to fix both fields, but if the grant doesn’t cover everything they have SPLOST money put back that was already put back for renovations to the Rec. department.

Last but certainly not least is the cherry on top. The Splash Pad will be gaining a bigger brother as the last project on the list will be dedicated to building a six lane, 25 meter pool for the Rec. department. Not just that, but an additional swimming area will be added for those who are there to just swim and exercise. “As great as the Splash Pad is, there is an age gap for people to swim here in the community,” Singletary said. This opens up not only a place for the community to swim, but job opportunities for high school and college students. The plan is to also host swimming lessons here to kids and adults.

The ultimate goal with these renovations is to get the community involved in the recreation department. This goes for kids and adults, as kids already keep the Rec. department afloat as is. Construction is projected to start as early as the beginning of 2024. If given the chance to have anymore grants, Singletary would “put the money towards something that improves the quality of life for the community,”.


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