Dyess Park’s future could mean a loss of the past

News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – When it comes to the Community Center at Dyess Park, there is a big question of should it stay or should it go.

“We’re really looking for some good public input from the Laney Walker Neighborhood Association and our elected officials on what they really want Dyess Park to look like 10-15 years down the road,” said Interim Recreation and Parks Director Ron Houck.

Recreation officials say fixing up the old center would cost more than $500 thousand dollars.

Last week city leaders heard from an officer with the Laney Walker Neighborhood Association who said the future of the Park should not include the old building.

“Overwhelmingly in my community, the solution is build a new center,” said Stanley Hawes.

Something many Augusta leaders agree with.

“It’s not functional for what it could be used for. Why spend so much on a building…roof leaks, things going on when we could get a new center for some of that money as well,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.

“The old Dyess Center, which was built in the 1890’s, was one of the older fire stations. It really isn’t functional for today’s recreational programs,” said Houck.

The current building has history but some Augusta leaders believe, for Dyess Park’s future, it should be removed but try and use some of it in a new center.

“I think what we do is we encompass, we tear it down and keep some of the elements and put some of the older elements into the new building and get a new center,” said Frantom.

Commissioner Bill Fennoy who represents the area also says he wants to see the existing building torn down and replaced with a new one. However there isn’t the money now set a side now for Dyess Park to pay for it.

But city leaders are scheduled to hold a work session Thursday to discuss Dyess and other Recreational facilities, and whether existing SPLOST dollars could be re-programmed.

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