Re-created Luetta Moore Park opening ceremony scheduled for July 31

Officials for the City of Statesboro and Bulloch County have scheduled a reopening ceremony for the fully renovated Luetta Moore Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, but not yet for Rev. WD Kent on Grady Street.

The ceremony will mark the opening of the new swimming pool, wading pool, volleyball court and playground at Luetta Moore Park. For example, city and county governments invite people to bring their swimsuits to try out the pool and wading pool for free between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. that day, and also from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 1.

After the opening weekend, admission to these water points with their public bath will be $ 3 per person, but the use of the ball fields, the playground and the new family pavilions with barbecues will be free.

Meanwhile, work on Grady Street Park will continue in August, city officials said on Tuesday. Deputy City Manager Jason Boyles said the combined costs of renovating the park remained within the $ 4.5 million borrowed by the city government for this purpose after a series of change orders.

The latest of those changes, unanimously approved by city council on Tuesday, added a payment of $ 110,946 to general contractor Lavender & Associates for “clearing” the parking lot at the Grady Street park so that it can be paved. It was something that city staff hadn’t anticipated but had, in a sense, anticipated, Boyles told council.

“We had it planned with our cost cushion, if you will, with the budget,” he said. “So we’re still under budget with this post and still on track.”

The contractor, while preparing to install the base material for the paving, discovered “unsuitable soils” that were wet and saturated, Boyles said. The additional expenses included transporting the sludge, placing geotextile fabrics and drainage materials, transporting other soils and testing done by a lab, according to a city council note.

This work had already been done. Boyles spoke of the removal of “a few feet” of soil, and Mayor Jonathan McCollar, who observed it, said what looked like “a small pond” had accumulated.

A 20% cushion

The “cost cushion” in the budget includes a 20% contingency that City Manager Charles Penny has budgeted for in the construction budget. Exactly 20% of the Lavender & Associates bid contract price of $ 2,877,954 would be $ 575,591, but Penny rounded up to $ 600,000, he said earlier this year.

The change order awarded on Tuesday was not the first, and construction costs for the two parks now appear to be close to supply plus contingencies. As previously reported, seven change orders approved by the board on May 18 totaled $ 107,136, and six approved on April 20 totaled $ 349,809. The most significant costs were for landscaping, irrigation and fencing.

Those pre-Lavender modification orders plus Tuesday’s order would total $ 597,891, but some of the earlier items may have been substitutions for other materials already in the contract price.

Paid to other companies

Non-construction costs, separate from Lavender’s contract, included $ 499,684 to GameTime for gaming equipment for the two parks and $ 105,422 to Bulloch Solutions for telecommunications and security infrastructure. The estimated cost of issuing the bond to Truist Bank, which loaned the $ 4.5 million through the city’s Urban Redevelopment Agency at an annual interest rate of 1.47 %, with 10 years of payback, was $ 80,000.

Initially, the council also agreed to pay Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, which designed the park renovations, up to $ 33,560 to administer the construction. The city also has separate contracts with Georgia Power for lighting, Boyles noted in a response email.

He did not have a new running total of all charges as of Wednesday.

But it appears to have passed $ 4.2 million, and Penny, who was absent on Tuesday, told the board in mid-May that around $ 300,000 was left of the $ 4.5 million.

Council members and the mayor said citizens asked if the park’s renovations were going over budget.

“What I explained in this case is that 4.5 (million dollars) is the total amount that has been allocated for this project and we are not at that point yet,” McCollar said. at Tuesday’s meeting.

City-county project

On city-owned land in the Statesboro neighborhoods, these two parks are operated by the Statesboro-Bulloch County Department of Parks and Recreation.

In initiating the park renovations, the city government committed $ 1.1 million to begin repaying the loan. But the Bulloch County Council of Commissioners also pledged $ 1 million, or $ 200,000 a year for five years, on the county’s revenue from the 2019 Local Special Use Options Sales Tax, or SPLOST. , for these park improvements.

The new Luetta Moore Park swimming pool, designed to accommodate rehabilitation activities and swimming lessons, will also be available for personal recreation during advertised summer hours when lifeguards are on duty. Access to it and to the paddling pool will be free on the opening weekend, July 31 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and August 1 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
– photo by AL HACKLE / staff

Statesboro officials plan to offer to fund the remainder of the bond repayment in a SPLOST renewal referendum that will be presented to voters in Bulloch County by November 2024.

During an informal visit Tuesday night to Luetta Moore Park, McCollar said the improvements were a worthwhile community investment. In addition to the pool and the spray bar, which he had seen in operation earlier, tables and grates had been installed. The last of the four large play sets had been delivered and was the only one to be installed.

“I’m really excited about this,” McCollar said. “If we were just doing this park alone it would be a great addition, but when you add the fact that we have a basketball pavilion coming up, another state of the art playground coming to this community , it really adds to the quality of life for residents of the whole city.

Coming to Grady St.

This three-court indoor basketball pavilion and other multi-age playgrounds that comply with the US Disability Act will be a feature of the renovated Kent Park on Grady Street when it reopens. This park will not have a pool, but it will also have two family picnic pavilions with grills, an outdoor basketball half court, walking path, and renovated washrooms.

Luetta Moore Park retains its basketball court, the Jones-Love Cultural Center and the Zadie Lundy Douglas Little League Field, which has also undergone some renovations.

After the opening weekend, the swimming pool and wading pool should operate from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, as well as from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Labor Day, Monday September 6, before closing until May. When open, the pool will have certified lifeguards on duty.


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