During a brief meeting, the Columbus Lowndes Recreation Authority discussed adding new bathrooms and new parking at the soccerplex.
After facing public criticism over traffic congestion and the perceived lack of bathroom facilities, the CLRA is moving to correct the problems.
CLRA Executive Director Roger Short reported that he has gotten funding from the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, and will be going to the Columbus City Council Tuesday night to request the other half. He is seeking $200,000.
“I went to the board of supervisors this morning and requested $100,000,” Short said. “I met last week with [District 1 Supervisor] Harry Sanders, [Columbus Mayor] Robert Smith, [City Engineer] Kevin Stafford [City Councilman] Bill Gavin and [CLRA Programs Director] Greg Lewis and we looked at some plans. I asked them to let me do with this concession facility the same thing we did with neighborhood parks. Give me a figure that we can work with and then I can build that facility for that amount of money.
“I went before the county this morning, and they gave us $100,000,” Short said. “I go before the city Tuesday night. It seems like everything is lined up there. It looks like we’ll have $200,000 to build the facility down there. We have a new set of plans that will have more facilities as far as urinals and toilets and will also have a referee lounge. That lounge will be a concrete room with tables and chairs, that’s what we mean by lounge.
“This will get the concessions over there, and it allows us to spread the kids out throughout the complex,” Short said. “A lot of the problem that we had with the parking on the north side I created because we put all the little kids on that field next to the concessions. We did it intentionally so they would be there, and but now we’ll be able to spread them out and utilize the park a little better.”
The building will be block with a brick veneer.
“It’ll have brick, it just won’t be tapered like the other one is,” Short said. “It’ll have a front porch on it, and six-foot walkways all the way around it. It’ll be nice.”
Short also addressed parking congestion.
“The county is in the process of acquiring land now,” Short said. “The land appraisal came in good. They are purchasing a half-acre lot for us, and we’re going to use that for parking. When we finish our leagues down there the city and the county are going to go in and get all the underbrush and everything east of the well, and we’re going to see what we can do in there as far as parking. They’re also going to try to open Coretta Street back up and make it a one-way street through the north side. We’re looking at putting in a larger culvert there or coming up with some kind of bridge. That way we can open that north side back up.”0