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South Forsyth may get two rec centers
Buice joins Folwer site
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County commission has committed to build not one but two recreation centers in south Forsyth.

The first is planned for the original target site, Fowler Park at Hwy. 9 and Castleberry Road, while the second will go on the Buice property, a tract at Nichols and Old Atlanta roads the county recently acquired as green space.

Pete Sutton of Sutton Architectural Services laid out the pros and cons for both sites for commissioners Thursday.

While the commission voted to build two recreation centers, the plans for the one at Buice hinge on funding, which will be discussed at an April 16 meeting.

Sutton’s business was hired to draw up blueprints for the original 46,000-square-foot building. The board had given him the go-ahead to proceed up to this point, but had asked his direction on where a center would best fit.

According to Commissioner Brian Tam, funding will be available through the green space bond and 1-cent sales tax money. He said both sites seemed like viable options.

“We need both of them,” Tam said, adding that a parks and recreation master plan has called for four recreation centers in the county.

Tam added that “there was no [green space] bond language speaking to the recreation center that ties us to Fowler Park only.”

Sutton said both sites were good for a recreation center.

“They’re both large enough to accommodate this type of facility,” he said.

Sutton ruled out a third potential site, a church on Sharon Road the county bought with 1-cent sales tax money.

“The church site is the least desirable, because of the tightness of the site for the size of the building,” Sutton said.

He said it will take about 10 months to design both sites and another 14 months to build them.

“We could even bid those at the same time and save on construction costs,” Sutton said. “A larger project always attracts more competition.”

Commissioner Jim Harrell was uncomfortable voting to approve a second recreation center before discussing where the funding would come from.

“The vote should come afterward,” Harrell said.

He and Commissioner Jim Boff voted against committing to build a second center, though both voted to build the facility at Fowler Park. That motion passed 5-0.

E-mail Frank Reddy at