Whitesville Road Elementary update

Published 9:45 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

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As construction comes along to transform the former Whitesville Road Elementary School into a soccer complex, there is still a long way to go.

Troup County Manager Eric Mosley said $1.5 million was allocated via SPLOST V and will be completed in phases.

“Because of the complexity of the project, we’d like a lot of our projects to have phases. Phase one of the project was to demo the school and prep the fields for completion of phase two, which will be adding lighting on the property as well as some other amenities that would go in hand with the complex,” Mosley said.

He said phase one — the demolition of parts of the school —is far from being done.

“Phase one will not be completed until probably sometime in mid-September. Phase two will be the grading of the field as well as beginning to form the parking lots with curbs and gutters,” Mosley said.

As construction continues, the remains of the former school, the gym and four classrooms will be used for the complex.

On Tuesday, the LDN reported a break-in to the school that left a substantial amount damage to the portion being kept.

“We have hired a company to come in and do some cleaning some deeper cleaning into facility where damages were made. We have ordered some new windows to replace those that were broken as well as trying to repair the trophy case that was destroyed,” Mosley said. “We still have some spray paint in various parts of the building — some that are more visible than others — but we will continue to work on repairing the damages over the next few weeks.”

At the time of printing, Mosley said the completion of the project is estimated to be sometime after 2024.

“Construction is a bit slow these days and trying to acquire the right amount of equipment materials has been more and more difficult,” Mosely said.

Mosley said the property was donated to the Troup County Parks and Recreation Department from the Troup County School System.

“We certainly appreciate their gracious donation to parks and recreation. As part of SPLOST V, which was voted on prior to my joining Troup County, there was money set aside in SPLOST V for expansion of a soccer complex,” Mosley said. “Since there were already fields at that location, it made sense to take advantage of the ones there now and expand upon that. The gracious donation by the Troup County School System, allowed us to continue our work on that site to expand field space.”

Mosley said the complex will offer more activities than just soccer.

“One of the things that we’ve recognized, as part of a county-wide recreation master plan, was that many of our residents are looking for non-traditional recreations such as painting, pottery, ballet, or other non-contact sports. We hope to be able to offer some of those types of activities in the four classrooms,” Mosley said.

“Because of the size of the gym, we’re going to be able to offer volleyball inside the gymnasium, as well as we’ll be able to conduct indoor soccer during the non-soccer season. Our hope is to begin offering some new sports in Troup County like lacrosse or field hockey. We’re certainly excited to be able to expand our repertoire to include these new sports and activities.”

Mosley said the county aims to make a positive impact with the construction of the new soccer complex.

“We are trying our best to have parks scattered throughout our county and having something in that location off of Whiteville Road is a sweet spot for us. It will help anchor the southern portion of the City of LaGrange with the rural southern portion of Troup County,” Mosley said.

“It also will tie in really well with tourism. Tourism is an important economic engine for our community and if we can invite or encourage more sports tourism through soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, or any type of event, it’s a win-win for both our citizens as well as the community as a whole.”