Phase one of Griggs Center renovation nearly completed

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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During the Troup County Board of Commissioners work session on Tuesday morning, Special Projects Manager Jay Anderson gave an update on ongoing SPLOST V projects as well as plans for the upcoming SPLOST VI that is set to come to a vote on March 21.

Anderson said that the first phase of renovations to the William J. Griggs Center is nearing completion. The county has scheduled a ribbon cutting for the updated facility on March 16.

“With Griggs, we are basically in the final homestretch,” Anderson said. “Torrance Construction is significantly done now. They’re just doing final punch out, clean up, paint touch up and getting their stuff out right now.”

Anderson said the building has passed all of its inspections with the city and fire marshal, and they are just working on their final punch list to open to fully reopen the center.

“The inside is probably 99.9 percent done,” Anderson said, noting most of the remaining work Is outside the facility.

Both full-size basketball courts have been completed — one renovated and one brand new — as well as the concessions area to support them.

The center renovations also include a computer lab and multiple study halls.

Anderson said the furniture for the study halls and computer lab was expected to be in Tuesday.

“We’re ready on the inside, and we’re moving furniture in today. The City of LaGrange is starting to bring in all of our computers, phones and IT stuff started this week. The new gym is pretty much 100 percent ready to go,” Anderson said.

Anderson also provided a rendering of the pool planned for the second phase of the project.

The proposed pool includes a zero-entry walk-in area as well as a deeper area with a slide.

Phase 2 of the Griggs Center renovations would be significantly funded by SPLOST VI revenues. County Manager Eric Mosley said the county asked for $2 million in ARPA grant funds from the state to support the project, but many requests have been made for the funds, including another request from Troup County.

“We submitted to two separate grants, one for the pool and one to build a pickleball facility across from the LaGrange Active Life Center,” Mosley said. “We originally thought that we might hear something in January.”

Mosley said they are also in talks with the Callaway Foundation, which has expressed interest in supporting the project.

“Until we know we’ve got the funding through SPLOST or grant or other means, we just didn’t want to go back to them,” Mosley said.

Mosley said the county fully intends to rebuild the pool one way or another.

“If anything, the grant just helps expedite the process,” Mosley said.

“If the SPLOST passes next month, what we have done in the past is borrow money from ourselves and then pay it back.”

Several commissioners expressed the need to replace the pool sooner than later so that the county has a location available for swimming lessons.

“I hope and pray that next spring we have a pool available for teaching swimming lessons. We’ve gone in this community for two years and have not had the ability to teach swim lessons to our kids,” said Commission Chairman Patrick Crews.

“Between the SPLOST and the Callaway Foundation — they’ve given in the past — that would be a high priority the next spring that we’re able to go back to teaching swimming lessons and providing a pool for the community,” Crews said.