Highway site booming in Vidalia

Published 12:03 am Monday, August 8, 2011

VIDALIA — The stretch of land on U.S. 84 near Walmart in Vidalia that will be the future site of Vidalia’s new municipal and recreation complexes is going to be a little more crowded in the next few weeks.

Construction is ongoing for the municipal complex — scheduled for completion in winter — and ground will be broken on a recreation complex — scheduled for completion in late summer 2012 — this week. An additional project, work on a park, will begin soon too.

Vidalia recently received a $250,000 grant to begin work on the park that will sit behind the city’s two other projects.

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“We are really excited about this,” Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said. “The new park is going to coincide with the new recreation complex, and it is going to be a tremendous asset to the community.”

Copeland said the Dr. William Thomas Polk City Park is scheduled to be built in five phases within a four-year time frame.

“The $250,000 we did receive is for the first phase,” Copeland said. “We hope each year we can submit a new grant to fund each project.”

Copeland said he hopes the city will continue to receive the Department of Interior grants until the $1.2 million project is complete.

“With the first grant, we were one of only four groups in the state to receive it,” he said. “Since we got the first grant, I believe the next grants will be easier to obtain.”

Copeland said the first phase of the project will include three basketball courts — one lighted and covered — and lighting for the new tennis courts that will be at the recreation complex.

“The city is working hand in hand with the recreation district on the park and the complex,” he said. “This is a joint effort to help build and fund these facilities.”

Copeland said the park will be a huge asset to the city once it is complete.

“I cannot wait to see the whole thing completed,” he said. “I know it is going to be something everyone will enjoy.”

Copeland said the park’s location next to the municipal complex will also bring added benefits.

“They are going to be located right next to the fire and police departments, so safety will always be right there,” he said. “Everything will be well secured.”

Copeland said the city hopes to start the project in the next few weeks and it should be complete in approximately one year.

“Hopefully this time next year we will have both the complexes completed and work on the first phase done,” he said. “That way by the time we finish, we can get the funding and start on the second phase.”

Copeland said the park will also feature bocce ball courts, playgrounds, a pond, a walking trail and disc golf.