Athens-Clarke County wants your input on a new youth and community enrichment facility

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government will host community feedback opportunities on the 10 potential sites identified as possible locations for a new youth and community enrichment facility.  

A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rocksprings Park & Community Center at 291 Henderson Extension, while an online map and survey is now available at www.accgov.com/youthfacility through Oct. 9 for public input on the 10 potential site locations. The webpage, map, and survey also includes information on the potential sites, area maps, frequently asked questions and the project process. 

Residents can drop in anytime during the two-hour public meeting to find out details and ask questions about the Youth and Community Enrichment Facility project and to provide feedback on the potential sites. In addition to providing general project information and addressing attendees’ questions and feedback, conversations will also address timelines and next steps for the site selection and facility. 

The facility was included in the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program approved by voters on Nov. 2, 2010 to support youth development and family educational programs in Athens-Clarke County with the location to be determined following ACCGov’s site selection process. 

Potential sites were evaluated by the SPLOST Site Selection Committee, a resident committee appointed by Mayor Kelly Girtz and chaired by District 8 Commissioner Carol Myers, and ranked on the site selection criteria that was approved by the Mayor and Commission. The 10 highest-scoring sites have been identified as potential sites for the facility.  

After public input on the potential sites, the SPLOST Site Selection Committee will begin the process of recommending candidate sites to the Mayor and Commission for final consideration in spring/summer 2023. Substantial completion of the facility is expected by fall 2025. 

The SPLOST-funded Youth and Community Enrichment Facility Partnership project will provide a new facility in partnership with the Athens Land Trust for youth development and family educational programs in Athens-Clarke County. The project is envisioned to include components such as a computer lab and technology center, classrooms and conference space, associated administrative and operational areas, an incubator kitchen, wood and metal shops, and gardening and market space with an exterior pavilion and stage area. 

The construction cost limit is currently approved for $2.5 million, which includes SPLOST funds and private donations. It is also expected that the project partners will pursue additional capital funds to support the SPLOST allocation. Changes to the overall project budget are likely depending on the purchase price for the site and the design and construction process. 

To learn more about the SPLOST 2010 Project 22 Youth and Community Enrichment Facility project, or to take the brief survey through October 9, visit www.accgov.com/youthfacility.  

For more information, contact the SPLOST Program Management Office at 706-613-3025 or splost@accgov.com.

Why It Matters: While much attention is given to national politics and the workings of Congress and the White House, local government meetings are where the decisions that impact your daily life are made. City Council, County Commission, School Board Meetings, and Town Halls are where your elected leaders discuss and decide the issues that most effect your family and your community.

Each week, The Georgia Sun highlights some of the meetings you need to know about in your local community to keep you informed and to make sure you know what decisions your elected officials are considering and how your tax dollars are being spent.

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