LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – William J. Griggs Recreation Center has broken ground on Phase I for the long awaited renovations that is expected to take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to complete. 

Phase I is expected to cost $8 million which is an increase from the original estimate of $4.5 million due to the increased cost of materials following the pandemic. Phase I will be an entire refacing of the original building and will remodel all of the amenities. 

Torrance Construction Company is overseeing the project and Superintendent, Will Tucker, said the steel and electrical materials are currently costing the most. However, that is not stopping them from staying on track with the expected deadline. 

“In the existing part of the building will be new flooring, redoing the storefront entryway like at the reception area, remodeling that and kind of giving it all a big face lift. Nothing structurally just cosmetically,” said Tucker. 

Tucker said he has between 20 and 30 guys on the site daily and they have begun constructing the new 10,000 sq. ft. gym. Following the newly renovated gym will be the demolition of the pool area that will be reconstructed as a parking lot and playground.

Tucker said the reconstruction of the parking spots has been a high priority to limit the amount of danger visitors are experiencing by parking on the street. There will be approximately 50 parking spots recreated for the recreation center in Phase I and Phase II will bring more parking as well. 

Dr. Jimmy McCamey Jr. is the Troup County District 5 County Commissioner and he has been overseeing the renovations since his election in November. 

“I think overall the community was resistant in terms of where we go from here because they did not know if we were going to have the funding,” said Dr. McCamey.

He said along with the increased price of materials another barrier has been funding the $8 million project.

Dr. McCamey thanks the Callaway Foundation, the city government and the county government for providing the funds to make the renovations possible. 

He said many community members have expressed their concern with the demolition of the pool and the possibility that a new pool will not be rebuilt. He said he is confident there will be more funds available for Phase II which includes the renovations to the pool.