Work on the planned central recreation complex off Highway 21 and Rahn Station Road has one less obstacle in its path.
A house that has sat on the property for months finally has been relocated to its destination, leaving the more than 100 acres now bare of any structures — and making it ready for work.
“It is sitting on Old Augusta Road,” county commission Chairman Wendall Kessler said of the house. “I am happy.”
When the county commission completed its purchase of the tracts for the planned complex, the house was part of the acquisition. Commissioners made the house surplus property in January 2015 and approved a $4,000 bid to have it removed in March.
Commissioners expressed frustration late last year that the house remained on the property, months after it was to have been relocated.
With the house now gone, Kessler is anxious to get work started on the complex. The county expects to have schematic designs and cost estimates soon from CHA Sports. Kessler said he hopes to have a groundbreaking within two months.
“Hopefully, we’ll start soon,” she said. “I am looking forward to it.”
The commissioners agreed in November to surplus 1.25 acres in the hopes of attracting a restaurant to the site.
“The survey has been done,” Kessler said. “We’ve got the front piece cut out.”
Commissioners also have approved a resolution and authorized Kessler to sign a pre-application form for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to help pay for the complex. The federal funds are used to help local governments acquire land and develop outdoor recreation facilities. Local governments can get between $25,000 and $100,000, and $2 million has been allocated to the state to disburse.
Projected costs for the first phase of the complex are $9.96 million, with about $772,000 in site work. The first phase is expected to include five softball and baseball fields, covered bleachers, a gym, a picnic pavilion, two playgrounds and support and maintenance buildings.