Sonoraville Recreation Complex

If all goes as planned the Sonoraville Recreation Complex will have a new splash pad and pavilion by Memorial Day next year.

Gordon County Administrator Jim Ledbetter updated county commissioners about plans to combine the two projects into one during the commission’s Tuesday night meeting.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me to piecemeal it,” Ledbetter told commissioners.

Both projects were approved by voters as part of the 2017 Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax. The splash pad is a $175,000 project, while the pavilion was budgeted at $250,000.

Collection for projects on the SPLOST list take place one at a time, Ledbetter explained, so while the county has collected the funds to pay for the splash pad, the collection for the pavilion doesn’t happen until later.

As such, the county will pay for the pavilion in advance, then repay itself as the penny tax earmarked for that project is collected.

Ledbetter said officials had originally planned to put the splash pad where the skate park is located, but the design team thought a better location would be next to the playground. That movement led to the idea of building the pavilion in that area as well.

“That way parents can get under the pavilion and watch their kids play on the splash pad,” Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter said the original SPLOST plans didn’t necessarily call for the splash pad and pavilion to be built next to each other, but once they settled on a location for the splash pad, he said it just made too much sense not to have them next to each other because the pavilion will also include restrooms where children can change out of wet clothes.