Kennesaw basketball courts not a slam dunk
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@mdjonline.com
May 03, 2012 11:27 PM | 2741 views | 7 7 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNESAW — Kennesaw officials are uncertain on whether they can build two basketball courts at a city park, despite receiving a grant from the Atlanta Hawks Foundation.

The Hawks Foundation approached the city in March with the idea of granting it $25,000 to build two basketball courts at a city park. However, city officials have been unable to decide which park to construct the courts at or even how to fund the balance of the project.

Members of the Kennesaw City Council discussed the matter Wednesday night during a work session agenda meeting.

Assistant City Manager Jeff Drobney told the council that a number of project deadlines were fast approaching and that it was highly unlikely the city could meet them. The grant contract stipulates that a contractor would need to be selected by Wednesday, construction was expected to begin May 14 and a ribbon-cutting was scheduled in early July, he said.

“For the construction of new basketball courts, that’s not something we could meet,” Drobney said. “The amount of time would be three to four weeks before that could be properly bid, reviewed and be put out.”

The Atlanta Hawks Foundation creates programs and forms partnerships with local agencies to provide opportunities for physical fitness and recreation. In March, the organization first approached the city with the idea of building collegiate-size basketball courts in the city, which lacks public courts.

A call to the Atlanta Hawks organization was not returned.

Because Adams Park off Watts Drive is the center of the city’s athletic programs and summer camps and is home to a community center, it was decided that it would be a better option than the larger Swift-Cantrell Park on Old Highway 41.

However, the council has been unable to agree on whether to turn the existing Adams Park tennis courts into the basketball courts or go with a more expensive option, which would be to construct entirely new basketball courts there. It would cost between $21,000 and $23,000 to turn the tennis courts into basketball courts and between $79,000 and $84,000 to build new basketball courts, including fencing and lighting.

Time was lost in obtaining cost estimates on the two options and negotiating a contract with the Hawks Foundation, Drobney said.

Funding would be available through the 2011 SPLOST to relocate the tennis courts to Swift-Cantrell Park, but not at Adams Park, Drobney said. It was also mentioned that Kennesaw Mountain High School could serve as the temporary home for public tennis if new tennis courts were added to Swift-Cantrell Park.

While Mayor Mark Mathews and the five council members agreed Wednesday that public basketball courts are needed in the city and that the opportunity presented by the Hawks Foundation is a good one, they were unable to decide on a plan of action.

Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh said the city could possibly find private donors if it had another month to consider the project, but that the current options presented were not fiscally acceptable.

“I know that this is a great foundation, they’ve done a super job in other communities,” Councilman Bruce Jenkins said. “But I’d like to see some other alternatives and places we could look at to get that into the budget.”

The matter will be taken up again at the Kennesaw City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Comments
(7)
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Typical!
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May 05, 2012
If money given to them was for a soccer field or a baseball field it would be full speed ahead.
I Agree
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August 30, 2013
It's a shame that basketball courts are associated with negativity as some feel it's only a haven for thugs. A huge amount of money was spent for a skateboard park because as we all know, many kids & teens who love to skateboard aren't permitted to skate in most areas, so this was a needed project. It would be great if Kennesaw developed courts because it would give kids the ability to practice during their off season and would be beneficial to those who would like to try out for the basketball team at the high school & middle school level who don't have access to a nearby court. As the commenter below stated, "thugs, pimps, & druggies...we have to tolerate on a daily basis," these individuals exist in all races. If they ever decide to build the courts, like with any park, they're standard park hours. Another option would be to put a fence around the courts as well and have park security lock it each night when the park closes if you feel that unsavory elements will inhabit the courts at night.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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May 04, 2012
Is Jeff Dobrney completely nuts? And just who does he expect will inhabit these courts...at all hours? Answer: Thugs, Pimps and Druggies! We truly do not need yet another haven for the unsavory elements that we have to tolerate on a daily basis.
Kennesaw Resident
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May 04, 2012
Thank you for being fiscally responsible with our tax dollars! I appreciate that you are taking the time to consider carefully how to proceed with the dollars and if you are not able to find the "right" solution within the alloted time, the best is to do nothing.

Good job!
Brian W
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May 04, 2012
How about "none of the above". Public basketball courts are nothing more than gathering ground for the local thugs. You want to ruin a nice place, put in basketball courts. Go to Laurel Park in Marietta and look for yourself. I quit taking my child there because of the foul language from the people playing and spectators (notice I didn't say kids)
anonymous
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May 04, 2012
I agree with you Brian . Swift-Cantrell a nice park to visit, please city officials don't ruin it by putting basketball courts there.
pointingoutfools
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May 04, 2012
ANOTHER glaring example of government at work. For Gawds sake you were given the money. Sit at your desk you incomparable fools !!!! for ten minutes and call a contractor to build the courts.

Thats how it works in the real world.

In the government world it is years of permits permissions surveys assessments and then you dont do it.

We wonder why our nation is going in the toilet

FOOLS !!!!!!
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