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Plans revised for rec building at new-look Cumming City Park
building

CUMMING — Revisions have been made to a proposed recreation building at Cumming City Park in an effort to keep the project on budget.

At the most recent Cumming City Council meeting, the council voted 5-0 to proceed with the new design. Greg Little, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the change had been part of the plan all along.

“The low bid was awarded to Cumming Development for $3.24 million with the understanding that was more than we had budgeted for the building and that we were going to need to go back and work out that with the engineer and make some changes to the building,” Little said.

He went on to note that the department had the opportunity to cut some costs.

“We have been able to get the new estimated cost for the building down to $2.65 million,” he said. “We trimmed a little bit more than half a million dollars from what was originally bid.

The 27,000-square-foot building is part of a larger project to completely renovate the park off Pilgrim Mill Road. It will next go back to Paul Hamby of Hamby Architecture and Design to prepare for construction.

“His engineers [will] start to work on [them], so we can come up with some more exact costs,” Little said. “We may save even more money when we get back into the engineers’ hands.”

The design of the building didn’t change much in the revision, only the materials to be used.

“Most of it was structural, just trying to simplify the building some, that would just make it simpler and cheaper to build,” he said. “We simplified the roofing system on it. Originally, we had block walls in the interior of the building that were quite expensive, so [that] would make the running of conduit and electrical more expensive.”

The park site has been closed since January 2014 in preparation for the work, which is being funded through an agreement with Forsyth County.

Through that arrangement, the city agreed to give the county $5.3 million it was entitled to from 1-cent sales tax revenue for two new parking decks that were built as part of the new county courthouse and jail project.

In exchange, the county agreed to give the city $4 million for the park. Under the deal, the project must be finished by the end of October.

Once the park is finished, it will feature an outdoor amphitheater, new playground and “tot lot” areas.

The building will feature offices, classrooms for various activities and four 35-by-35-foot rooms that can open to a big room for meetings.

“We’re trying to get the building done first, just to make sure that there is enough in the budget to finalize the rest of the entire development,” Little said. “The building is the cornerstone of the project. It’s what we need for our offices and our programming.”

The building is projected to open in October. Little said that the department was doing all it could to meet that goal.

“That’s still what we’re aiming at,” Little said. “The process we’ve been through the last month … has slowed it down, but October is still the date that we are projecting and shooting for to get into the building.”