AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — There are some big problems at the Boathouse.
“Let’s fix it, I think we’re at the point now where we can’t put a band-aid on the Boathouse, we have to make sure the dollars are allocated to build from the ground up,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
The Boathouse has been the longtime home for the Augusta Rowing Club, but now the city is telling the club it must limit access after maintenance problems grew worse over the holidays.
“A pipe burst in the upstairs kitchen area, and rain for a few days, which you know what water will do to drywall, the ceiling is falling in, electrical issues, etcetera,” Rowing Club President Megan Buckalew told commissioners.
There is money for repairs at the Boathouse, $580,000 in sales tax money, set aside, but there is a lot of work.
“That’s not nearly enough, we’re probably thinking now we’re going to be closer to $2 million to do all thing things we need to do in light of what’s recently happened,” said Recreation and Parks Director Maurice McDowell.
Some commissioners say they want to look at possibly selling the facility.
“We can get out of and not spend so much money trying to rehab and get it back up to standards,” said Commissioner Tony Lewis.
“One of the things about the river, it is a crown jewel of the city, that’s something you have to invest in, that is not something you could wish you could invest in; you must invest in the riverfront because that is your money maker,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason.
Commissioners want city staff to sit down and come back with a plan on what it will take to make the boathouse seaworthy again.