New Kennesaw recreation center on track for early completion

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

Kennesaw’s new $10.5 million recreation center being built in Adams Park has an expected completion date of December 2021, due to the City Council approving the reallocation of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.

The project was originally planned for two phases, ground already having been broken for phase 1 in July and paid for with funds from the 2016 SPLOST. Phase 1 is approximately 21,500 square feet and will contain two multi-purpose gyms, a fitness area and offices.

Phase 2 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.

The city was unable to move forward on the second part of the project until voters passed the 2022 SPLOST in the November election. Now that the funding is secured, City Manager Jeff Drobney informed the council that the city can save $470,000 in construction costs by completing the entire center in one go.

At Monday’s meeting the council approved the reallocation of $4 million in 2016 SPLOST funds from the Sardis Street Overpass project to phase 2 of the recreation center.

Another $2 million was reallocated from Sardis Street to Depot Park construction to avoid interrupting that project’s progress as well.

In turn, $6 million from the 2022 SPLOST was reallocated from the recreation center back to the Sardis Street Overpass.

While the changes delay the opening of phase 1, it will not be necessary to close the center at a later date and tear off a wall to add phase 2. The entire center will be finished years earlier than expected, according to city officials.

Vinings-based Gay Construction was awarded the contract for the project in July.

The change is likely to be welcome news to Kennesaw’s gymnastics program, whose supporters fought unsuccessfully last year to have the new dedicated gymnastics area included in the first phase.

Cherokee Street Project

City Council also approved use of the condemnation process for two properties, 3195 Travelers Trail and 3461 Cherokee Street, in order to move forward on improvements to the Cherokee Street corridor. Plans include widening the road to three lanes, intersection improvements, and adding curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

According to Public Works Director Ricky Stewart, city officials have not been able to reach an agreement with the property owners regarding the right of way and easements and this step is necessary to avoid costly delays. The project is scheduled to begin in early 2021, with an expected completion date of mid-2023.

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.