Progress was the word used most often Tuesday morning, Aug. 1, as numerous elected officials, board members, and medical staff joined together to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new sports medicine facility coming to Catoosa County.

Members of the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners, Ringgold City Council, and the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority (EDA) were on hand to dig up the first bits of dirt for the new Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics.

The new 17,000-square-foot facility is the first business being erected in the "Project Jump" location on Battlefield Parkway, a 20-plus-acre development taking shape across from Battlefield Imaging.

Later that evening, during the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board unanimously approved an intersection improvement and site development agreement with Ringgold, the EDA, and the developer, Larry Armour Commercial Real Estate.

"This is a project very similar in nature to the ones that we have done with the city of Ringgold that resulted in the college (Georgia Northwestern), and like with the city of Fort Oglethorpe with the Buffalo Wild Wings development, and the Costco and Cabela's development," said County Attorney Chad Young. "The obligation of the county, the city, and the development authority together are to prepare the site, do some roadwork, and ultimately when the site gets developed, traffic signals will go in."

Young also said eventual turn lanes, signage, and sewer and stormwater will all be handled as a joint effort.

"The total estimated budget for all of those items is $1,933,512, a total cost that will be equally divided between the county, the development authority, and the city of Ringgold, and would be repaid through property and sales tax over a seven-year period starting when the Center for Sports Medicine opens," Young said.

Officials say the new facility will house patient rooms, office space, physical therapy, and on-site digital imaging.

The center is expected to open in 2018.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.