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Work continues on Cumming City Park
city park

CUMMING — A new community building at Cumming City Park is beginning to take shape.

During a recent City Council meeting, Cumming’s park and recreation director offered an update on the status of the planned 27,000-square-foot building, which is part of a larger project to transform the park off Pilgrim Mill Road.

“For the recreation department, all of our offices that are currently across the street will be in that building,” Greg Little said. “Our art classes will be held in there, our dance classes will be held in there, our fitness classes will be in there.”

In addition, the new building will have four adjustable rooms for both municipal programs and meeting spaces.

“They’re 35-foot by 35-foot rooms that can be separated out,” he said. “They can be used for our programs, but also can be used as a meeting place for groups that want to meet and have a small conference.”

Little said that groundwork is being conducted to make way for utilities at the park.

“We’re done in preparation of getting Georgia Power in to install the rest of the parking lot lights,” he said. “We will follow that up with the installation of the irrigation system that will be a part project.”

Once those items are completed, which Little said should be within the month, work will begin on landscaping.

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

The estimated cost of the building is $2.65 million. In January, the council approved changes to the proposal which reduced the costs from $3.24 million.

The improvements to the park, which has been closed since January 2014, are 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 projects.

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

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt also took exception to previous comments from a couple of Forsyth County commissioners that the city had not completed agreed-upon projects.

“If it’s sales tax money, that’s a negotiated [intergovernmental agreement] that the city and county entered into under [1-cent sales tax programs],” he said. “We’ve certainly spent the money wisely and put the money that the county said they gave us.

“Forsyth County commissioners have not given the city a … thing.”