AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - Festivals, concerts and movies have their eye on Lake Olmstead Stadium - left vacant after the Augusta Green Jackets moved to North Augusta in September. Augusta Commissioners looked at the stadium - to see what has to be done to get it back in use - as soon as possible.
Director of Recreation, Parks and Facilities Glenn Parker said, “This is a great facility - there’s a lot of good bones here, from a structural standpoint on what we can do.”
“We’ve got to upgrade the facility and we’ve gotta up the safety aspects of the facility, so today was just a starting point," said District 7 Commissioner Sean Frantom.
Repairing all of the stadium’s deficiencies - including painting the steel structure and replacing the roof - is budgeted at $642,400, according to the city’s Central Services Department. According to the assessment objectives, “deficiencies listed are recommended for replacement or repair, not required for baseball operations.”
Commissioners said they don’t plan on spending that kind of money. They plan on deciding which repairs are necessary and which are not.
“This is not gonna be a baseball venue, so some of that was for the field work and some of it was to make every bathroom totally remodeled. But most of the things are functional. So, we could pick and choose on that list what we’re gonna do," explained District 5 Commissioner Andrew Jefferson.
Parker said the city plans to hire a firm to help design a multi-purpose entertainment venue. In the meantime, commissioners said they’re eager to fix what they can to start booking events and bringing in revenue because promoters are reaching out to use the facility.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, October 30, commissioners plan to discuss which of these repairs they’d like to see tackled first. Augusta Commissioners, members of the city’s administrators office, central services department and parks and recreation department all participated in the tour.
For the short-term improvements to the facility, the funding source would be SPLOST VII. For the conversion of the amphitheater, city leaders would expect to use SPLOST VIII. At this time, however, no date has been set for that referendum.