County puts out bids for Griggs Recreation Center renovation

Published 10:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2021

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The historic William J. Griggs Recreation Center is set to receive a much-desired makeover.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners announced Wednesday that the long-anticipated expansion and renovation of the existing William J. Griggs Recreation Center, located at 716 Glenn Robertson Drive, is nearly ready to start.

Lance Dennis, director of the Troup County Parks and Recreation, said Thursday that the county is sending out bids for a construction manager to oversee the final design and construction of the project and plans to accept bid packages from qualified applicants in October of this year and select the contractor for the project in November.

The center was built during the same time when segregation was going on in Troup County, Dennis said, and was built for the African American community.

“The Callaway Foundation had given equal money to build facilities around [the county],” he said.

The purpose of this project is to provide the community with additional recreational and educational opportunities, while simultaneously preserving a facility that has played a significant role in Troup County history.

In August, the Callaway Foundation, Inc. approved the contribution of a $2 million matching grant for Phase I of this project on the grounds that the county and city of LaGrange each provide a match of $1 million each, securing a $4 million budget for the project. Both the city and the county approved the matches later that month.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to improve one of the recreational centers in our community. The Griggs Center has for decades improved the physical and social health of countless individuals, but mainly our young citizens,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Crews. “By partnering with the Callaway Foundation and the City of LaGrange, we can leverage our financial resources to create a wonderful facility. The greater value is what this can mean to the future generations who will utilize this property.”

Phase I of the project will involve expansion of the facility by adding an additional gymnasium; creating new study rooms, computer rooms, and an exercise room; and expanding parking opportunities that will eliminate on-street parking.

This property will be maintained and programmed by the Troup County Parks and Recreation Department after completion.

“The biggest concern I do have is for the on-street parking,” Dennis said. “It’s not safe. People ride up and down that road and when you’re parked … you can’t see if people are coming.”

Phase II will involve installing a new zero-entry swimming pool with a slide and an area for lap-swimming, Dennis said.

“The inside portion of the building is still in really good shape,” he said. “We’re hoping just to do minor renovations with that and add on to it.”

A guaranteed maximum price for Phase I of the project is for early 2022, and the construction manager at risk will then manage the permitting and construction activities starting in the spring of 2022 and with an estimated completion in the spring of 2023.