The grant will go toward the construction of a resource center on Glade Road near New Hope Church Road. While the grant has been approved, the county will not receive the funds until Sept. 6, said Grant Writing Director Valarie Gilreath. There could also be some preconditions, such as approving the architectural and engineering designs, before the funds are fully available.
Assistant County Administrator Lane McMillan said the resource center was just the first project the county has planned for the area. A fire station, compactor site and possibly a recreation facility could be built on the same land.
“We want to improve that area and provide more services than are currently available down there,” McMillan said.
In a previous interview with The Daily Tribune News, County Administrator Peter Olson said the land would likely cost the county $180,000 of its own funds. The grant, Gilreath explained, will finance the construction, design and engineering of the resource center.
Gilreath believed the local input from organizations active in the area, such as the Allatoona Elementary School, Sunshine Baptist Church, Redemption Baptist Church and the Allatoona Community Association helped the county get the grant.
“So I think seeing that kind of local cooperation and buy-in was probably a big help, and the other thing that I think probably really helped us was that we were proposing the resource center for the grant, but we also had a bigger picture, you know, with the county planning to build a fire station and a compactor site on the same property down the road. So I think because we were really trying to look at addressing all of the needs, that probably served us well,” she said.
Gilreath estimated construction would begin in early 2014, and she believed the project would be finished by summer 2015 at the latest. In the meantime, she is pleased with the county getting half a million dollars for the project.
“It feels great. I mean, you know, some projects are more special than others, certainly,” she said. “This one is a really big win, not just for the county but for me personally. We saw so much need down there, we saw so many people who would benefit that it really felt like ... I really felt personally responsible to them to make this happen.”