The estimated price tag for the multimillion-dollar Victor Lord Park expansion project, approved by Barrow County voters in November as part of the SPLOST (special-purpose local-option sales tax) 2018 referendum, has soared past the amount approved to be allocated toward the work from the SPLOST proceeds.

That has county officials and those working on the project searching for ways to fully fund the project and all its components as they were presented to the public ahead of the SPLOST vote.

As part of the SPLOST referendum, $7.35 million was allocated off the top of the proceeds for the park expansion (designated as a “Level 2” project).

The project proposal includes the construction of three synthetic turf, multipurpose athletic fields, a tennis center with eight courts and a multipurpose building, a splash pad, a dog park, a walking track, playground and associated parking and infrastructure on 35 acres that were part of Fort Yargo State Park and were leased to the county by the state. Also included off site is the installation of synthetic turf on the football/soccer fields at Apalachee and Winder-Barrow high schools.

With those off-site upgrades, that would leave about $5.8 million for the Victor Lord Park portion of the project, but the latest estimated cost to implement the entire master plan is now $10.2 million, project consultant Jeff Prine of Ascension Program Management said last Thursday.

During a called meeting of the county board of commissioners, Prine, county leisure services director Dan Magee and a representative from the project architectural firm Lose and Associates reported their latest estimates to the board.

They attributed the projected cost spike to dramatic increases in grading from stormwater and topography issues and higher construction material costs that had skyrocketed since the project began being planned almost two years ago.

See more in the July 4 edition of the Barrow News-Journal.

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