Whitesville Road Gym nearly ready for basketball, new soccer fields expected next year

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Interior renovations at the former Whitesville Road Elementary School are nearly completed and read for basketball. The county plans to turn the former school into a multi-sport athletic facility.

Often referred to as the upcoming Whitesville Road Soccer Complex, with the renovated gym and classrooms, the facility could host a plethora of recreational activities. The project was funded in SPLOST V, which allocated $1.5 million for the complex.

Assistant County Manager Jay Anderson said all of the demolition work has been completed and most of the interior work is done. The basketball/volleyball gymnasium and multi-use rooms should be ready for basketball season in December and January, he said.

The county demolished much of the former Troup High School, which later became Whitesville Road Middle and even later Elementary School, to make way for three planned full-size soccer fields. The administrative offices, the cafeteria and all but one wing of classrooms were torn down.

The remaining classroom wing, containing four classrooms, is included in the renovations. The county plans to use the former classrooms as multi-use rooms similar to the ones at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center for community use. 

“We’ll be able to use those for team meetings, club meetings, gatherings, birthday parties and various parks and rec activities,” Anderson said.

The school system donated the property to the county in 2021. The school had been closed since 2018 when it was replaced by Clearview Elementary.

Most of the renovations to the building are complete aside from flooring in the classroom wing and cleanup, Anderson said.

Anderson said the hardwood floors in the gym were refinished and the walls were repainted to match the county’s color scheme similar to the gym at the William Griggs Center. Much of the lighting was also replaced with new LED lighting.

“We painted the gym. We painted the classrooms and the lobby. We put an all new LED lighting in. We replaced the old fluorescent lighting with new LED lighting and added handicap ramps so that the parts of the building that we are keeping are ADA compliant,” Anderson said, adding the roof on the classroom wing was also replaced as part of the renovations.

Anderson said that a patio porch was also added that will overlook the rear soccer field. The porch has a partial overhang, which will provide much-needed shade during hot soccer events. He said they plan to add picnic tables with patio umbrellas for even more shade.

The soccer fields have a bit more work before they are going to be ready. Anderson said they need to bid out the next phase of the project, which includes grading the soccer fields and extending a small parking lot in the back. A portion of the front parking lot will also be converted into one of the three planned fields.

The next phase is expected to be bid out in November. The county is hoping to have the work completed by August or September 2024 in time for the next fall soccer season.

County Manager Eric Mosley has said that the fields could potentially be used for lacrosse or field hockey in the future as well.