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Cumming City Park project behind schedule
Delay due to weather, budget
park
The first layer of new pavement is down at Cumming City Park, waiting on work to resume. - photo by Jim Dean

CUMMING — The renovation of Cumming City Park, which includes a new community building, likely won’t be finished until year’s end, if not longer, due to budget and weather issues, officials say.

“Initially, when we started this early this year, [what caused the delay] was the weather, the rain, which was when we were out there doing was site work and the grading,” said Assistant City Manager Steve Bennett.

“Then the first cost assessment from our architect was more money than we had to put in it, so we had to redesign.”

According to Bennett, the city had three bids come in, but “they were all over our budget limit the way it was designed.”

Bennett said that the redesign process lasted two to three months, but that materials are coming and the community building should be in place by the start of winter parks programing in January. Other amenities, including a possible playground and amphitheater, likely will follow later in 2016.

“I think we’re to the point that all of that stuff has been decided or will be in the next few days and everything will be put on order. And as the materials come in, it shouldn’t take it long to go up,” he said.

The park off Pilgrim Mill Road closed to the public in January 2014. The site was cleared and the old swimming pool removed.

Funding for the project, which was supposed to be finished by this fall, came through an intergovernmental agreement with Forsyth County

The city agreed to provide the county with $5.3 million that it is entitled to from current 1-cent sales tax revenue for two parking decks for the new county courthouse. In exchange, the county agreed to give the city $4 million for parks and recreation improvements.

The new multi-purpose building will house offices currently located across the street in an old church building, as well as several rooms for activities such as dance and exercise classes.

In addition to the possible amphitheater and playground, the initial plans called for parking throughout, as well as a boardwalk along a stream.

“Because of time constraints, and mostly money constraints, we’re shooting at getting the building open, because that’s the main purpose is to get a place for our and our offices, because the old church is pretty much past repair,” Bennett said.