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Decatur City Commission approves construction contract for track, field at Legacy Park

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Decatur City Commission approves construction contract for track, field at Legacy Park

(From left) Decatur City Commissioner Lesa Mayer, Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers and Mayor Patti Garrett check out samples of the Legacy Park track and field materials during a city commission meeting on Dec. 4, 2023, at City Hall. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission, at its Dec. 4 regular meeting, approved an agreement with Sports Turf Company for about $6 million for the construction and installation of the track and field at Legacy Park. The city commission approved a project budget of $7 million as well.

The project is a joint venture between the city and City Schools of Decatur. Both boards approved the design of the track and field over the summer. On Monday night, the city commission also approved amendments to the intergovernmental agreement between the city, the Public Facilities Authority and the school board to increase the financial commitment of both entities to $3.5 million for the project.

The city and the school board had each previously committed to contributing $3 million to the track and field. City Manager Andrea Arnold noted that the city is paying their part with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The additional $500,000 will also be covered by ARPA funding.

Here are the other agenda items approved related to the track and field project:

 – An agreement with Musco Sports Lighting in the amount of $308,000 for athletic field lighting.

– An agreement with Breedlove Land Planning the amount of $60,000 for construction administration.

– An agreement with the Georgia Power Company in the amount of $50,000 for utility relocation.

Capital Projects Manager Hugh Saxon said natural grass had been considered for the field, but it would be difficult to maintain, so a synthetic turf field will be installed at Legacy Park. The city is also seeing challenges with the natural grass field at Ebster Field and is planning to convert that field to synthetic turf.

During the regular meeting, Saxon shared sample materials with the commissioners and city manager. The field will feature a foam pad underneath a carpet of synthetic turf. The infill material is made of a natural wood fiber and sand.

The final design of the project features an eight-lane track, synthetic turf athletic field, a field house and athletic field lighting. The field will have markings for soccer, lacrosse, football and ultimate Frisbee. There will also be areas for pole-vaulting, long jump, shot put and discus.

The track and athletic field will also feature athletic lights and natural seating. There will not be bleachers around the track and field.

Improvements to the existing gymnasium include adding a ramp and making access and pathways ADA-compliant. An existing basketball court will be removed and converted into a grassy area for viewing.

Construction on the track and field at Legacy Park will likely begin early in 2024 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of next year. Saxon said the facility will be ready for use by the spring 2025 sports season.

“We’re off to the races,” Mayor Patti Garrett said.

In other business:

– The city commission approved traffic-calming measures for Adair Street between West Howard Avenue and West Ponce de Leon Avenue.

The city kicked off the traffic-calming initiative in December 2022. The city and its planning consultant, Atkins, were working to develop options for traffic-calming for Adair Street between West Ponce de Leon Avenue and West Howard Avenue.

Features of the plan include new raised crosswalks installed across Adair Street at Hibernia and Emerson avenues, on-street parking between Cottonwood Place and West Ponce de Leon Avenue will be shifted to the east side of Adair Street, and new traffic control signs and additional streetlights will be added, among other traffic-calming measures, Saxon said.

On-street share the road pavement markings will be installed as well to accommodate bicyclists on Adair Street. The proposal does not include extending the sidewalk on the west side of the 300 block of Adair Street.

“This needs further study before a recommendation can be made to the city commission. No funding is in the street resurfacing budget for the sidewalk extension,” Saxon wrote in a memo.

– The city commission approved a slate of appointments and re-appointments to the city’s various board and commissions that are effective Jan. 1, 2024. The slate of candidates included two youth members who will serve on the Environmental Sustainability Board, which is the first time a city board has had youth members, Garrett said. To see all the people who will serve on the boards and commissions, click here.

– The city commission approved its meeting schedule for 2024. To view the schedule, click here. The city commission will also meet for its annual strategic planning retreat on Jan. 4-5.

– The city is planning to intervene in the 2023 Integrated Resource Plan. The city would advocate for energy efficiency and more access to renewable energy as the city plays a role in Georgia Power’s process to plan its electricity demand and strategies to meet needs over the next several years.

Last year, the city of Decatur, along with the city of Savannah, Athens-Clarke County, and DeKalb County formed a coalition to help with improving Georgia Power’s existing and proposed energy-efficiency programs, enhancing customers’ access to demand and usage data, and increasing access to renewable energy and distributed energy resources for residential and commercial customers.

Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has to be approved by the state Public Service Commission.

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