Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
January 24, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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January 24, 2018

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Page 2A January 24, 2018 I By Richard Dumas Monroe County Commissioners are expected to select next month a design firm to create a master plan for the future expansion of the Monroe County Recreation Department. Commissioners lis- tened to presentations on Tuesday, Jan. 16 by the three companies seeking to create the master plan. Each presentation lasted about a half hour, which included answering ques- tions from commission- ers. The three companies jockeying to become the county's selection includ- ed: Lose & Associates, Inc. of Atlanta, Bryant Engineering, LLC of Perry and Harbin Engineering, P.C. of Forsyth. Commissioners said they plan to select a design firm at their next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Whit Alexander and Marc Bond represented Lose & Associates, which has been in busi- ness since 1982 and has overseen more than 600 parks and recreation projects, including over 300 projects in Georgia. Alexander said Lose & Associates focuses exten- AT LAW Mon-Thurs 9 to 5 Friday 9 to 1:30 and Most Every Saturday 9to12 Former Chief Assistant DA & Prosecutor for Handling Both C minal & Personal Injury .Cases The Monroe County Rec Department may be able to give soccer teams their own fields, rather than making them share with baseball, when they expand the park.The county is expected to hire a company to develop a master plan for the park next month. Above, Grayson Bennett kicks the ball during soccer in the fall of 2015 with a baseball scoreboard in the background. Below, a tentative master plan from Harbin Engineering in Forsyth includes five new baseball diamonds, four new soccer fields and two new football fields on the new property, with the existing park at the bottom. (Photo/Harbin Engineering) sively on public outreach in coming up with its design, including holding open house meetings and issuing surveys to county residents. Alexander said his firm will design work in phases depending on how much money the county has available. For instance, he said in Ware County, one master plan created in 1997 yielded four separate phases of work during four sepa- rate SPLOST cycles. Chad Bryant of Bryant Engineering and Michael Turner of JMA Architecture teamed up for the second presenta- tion, saying the two firms work together on Middle Georgia area recreation projects. Among the proj- ects Bryant Engineering and JMA have completed include: Freedom Field at Houston County's Veterans High School, the Southeast Regional Little League stadium in Warner Robins, a 22,000 square-foot athletic facil- ity and 9,000 square-foot gym at Macon's Central Georgia Technical College, Perry's Big Indian Creek walking trail and a 70,000 square- foot arena at Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. Bryant and Turner advocated a single entrance into and out of the proposed Monroe County park for safety reasons. Steve Harbin, Michael Biers and Jennie Barfield representAd Harbin Engineering, which has been in busi- ness for 12 years and currently serves as Monroe County's land- fill engineering firm. Harbin, who will team with Macon's SP Design Group on the project, said his firm will incor- porate ideas presented by citizens, recreation director Keith Edge, the county's recreation board and commissioners to establish a final master plan. Harbin, whose firm has worked on a multi- purpose facility in Rabun County and other ath- letic facility projects in Chatham County, said his firm's major advan- tage is its being located right here in Forsyth, which gives its designers an intimate knowledge of the park and the county. For example, Harbin pre- sented a flyover video of the entire site taken from a drone. Harbin's plan also would create three entrances to the park as a means of improving A non-profit organization dedicated to support cancer victims DESPERATELY NEEDS CHAIRS FOR CANCER CTIMS WHO NEED EMI Your donation is tax deductible Call Rod Harris at 678-462-3365 May God Bless You traffic flow. Edge said he's in favor of at least one additional entrance/ exit for large events like the annual July 4th fire- works show. At the conclusion of the three presentations, District 1 commissioner Larry Evans said he was impressed by all three firms. District 3 com- missioner John Ambrose said he favored Harbin because of it being a local firm. District 4 commissioner George Emami added of Harbin Engineering: 'q egardless of how the award goes, I'm proud to know we've got a com- pany of you guys' caliber right here in Forsyth." The county dedicated $2.5 million in its current SPLOST to recreation department enhance: ments of which about $1.8 million is still avail- able. Commissioners have also indicated that we will include additional recreation funds in the next SPLOST, which is expected to be voted upon in November 2018. 105 Patrol Rd Ste D Forsyth, GA 31029 (Behind Big Cmc) ULTI IES Purchasing home, auto, and life one of many ways to save.