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Decision near on rec center
Three locations in running
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Forsyth County News
A decision on where to build a bond-funded recreation center in south Forsyth could come late next week.

Forsyth County commissioners recently heard from a representative with Sutton Architectural Services, who has been contracted for the site’s blueprints.

Three locations are in the running for the 46,000 square-foot center. Pete Sutton laid out the pros and cons for each, beginning with the original target site, Fowler Park (click for map) at Hwy. 9 and Castleberry Road.

Sutton told commissioners during a work session Tuesday that Fowler was the best choice “if we were to make a recommendation from a budget-only situation.”

“A lot of the site work for the building is going to be part of the park construction, so you’re saving a lot of dollars that would have to be devoted to grading and clearing,” he said.

Fowler Park is a $19 million project that could include sports fields, a skate park, playground and walking trails.

From a design standpoint, Sutton said his business would “rank the Buice property as a better site based on its high ground, its high visibility to the public and passers-by, and it could probably handle traffic better.”

The Buice property, at Nichols and Old Atlanta roads, was purchased for $5.1 million as part of a green space bond voters approved last year. The acquisition became official Feb. 2.

Sutton ranked the former Lakeland Southern Baptist Church building and property on Sharon Road as the last option. The county bought the property last month for $2.5 million in 1-cent sales tax money to develop into a senior center.

“The key negative there is that the building will fit, but it’s a smaller site,” Sutton said. “It would be very tight. There’s some low ground and some drainage issues.”

The board could vote on where to put the recreation center during Thursday’s meeting.

According to Donna Kukarola, county purchasing director, construction documents would cost $318,900 at Fowler and $363,300 for another site.

Construction itself could cost $6.5 million at Fowler, and could increase by as much as $400,000 at another site, Kukarola said.

The board could not decide where to put the recreation center Feb. 10, but voted 4-1 to allow Sutton Architectural Services to look at the three proposed sites, as well as begin drawing up construction plans.

Commissioner Jim Harrell opposed moving forward until a site was secured.

E-mail Frank Reddy at