Kennesaw preparing to move ahead with new recreation center

new Kennesaw recreation center renderingRendering of Kennesaw recreation center (courtesy of the City of Kennesaw)

The Kennesaw City Council is set to approve a construction contract Monday for phase 1 of the new recreation center.

According to Parks Director Steve Roberts, the city received thirteen qualification packages, which were evaluated and narrowed down to four by a selection committee. Of the four top-scoring firms, Roberts and Croy Engineering recommend awarding the contract to Gay Construction Company for approximately $7,030,000. The initial proposed contract was for $7,009,984, but Roberts added additional security cameras to the project.

Zachary Buffington of Croy Engineering told the council that if the contract is approved Monday, they could hold pre-construction meetings the same week and implement erosion control measures “pretty quickly.” He estimated the project will take about a year.

The recreation center will be in Adams Park, a 33-acre area with lighted baseball, tennis and softball fields, batting cages and a playground. Phase 1 will be approximately 21,500 square feet and contain two multi-purpose gyms, a fitness area and offices. The funds come from the 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Phase 2 is dependent upon the 2022 SPLOST passing in November. If that SPLOST is approved by voters, the addition will be 18,200 square feet and contain another multi-purpose gym, a dedicated gymnastics area and a walking track that will extend into phase 1. If the 2022 SPLOST does not pass, the city will have to make do with phase 1.

The phase 1 cost came in higher than initial estimates provided by the city last year. The council is set to approve the reallocation of leftover 2016 SPLOST funds from other projects toward the recreation center to cover the costs of the current design.

“There’s dollars in different places – to push them all under the recreation center to allow us to go ahead and fund what you all recommended we approve earlier,” said City Manager Jeff Drobney.

Improvements to Dallas Street and Watts Drive are complete with $76,000 remaining. There is also $15,000 remaining after the purchase of police vehicles. The largest amount being reallocated is $1,771,000 that was set aside in case the city needed to purchase additional property for the center, but was unnecessary since it is being built in Adams Park.

Citizens may attend the meetings, but space is limited due to social distancing protocols. Overflow attendees will be directed to the Ben Robertson Community Center where the council can be addressed via live stream. The meetings are also streamed on the city’s Facebook page. Public comment can also be made via email at Comments will be shared at the regular session.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.