DeKalb

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - COUNTY BY COUNTY - BILL BANKS FOR THE AJC

‘Coali­tion’ hop­ing to build track

A De­catur col­lec­tive call­ing it­self “The Legacy Park Ath­let­ics and Re­cre­ation Coali­tion,” be­gan meet­ing in July with the in­tent of get­ting a track built on the old United Methodist Chil­dren’s Home prop­erty far sooner than the master plan’s pro­jec­tion.

That master plan, along with chang­ing the prop­erty’s name to Legacy Park, will be voted on by city com­mis­sion­ers dur­ing their Dec. 3 meet­ing. The recre­ational cen­ter­piece for the 77-acre site is a track, but ini­tial fore­casts place its con­struc­tion be­gin­ning in 10 to 15 years and cost at around $6 mil­lion.

The Coali­tion, now with roughly 25 mem­bers, has a pri­mary goal of iden­ti­fy­ing fund­ing sources and phas­ing the project, with the most im­por­tant el­e­ments com­ing first.

“Our im­me­di­ate needs are the track it­self, and the ath­letic field in the in­te­rior,” said Chair­man Michael Harbin. “I know we can meet those for a lot less than $6 mil­lion. But we also think the full­blown venue, with the stands, lights, press box, turf if needed, can also come in un­der $6 mil­lion.”

All money raised by the Coali­tion will go into a non-profit called the Legacy Project started by the city sev­eral months ago.

“That gives us le­git­i­macy,” Harbin said. “It means we’re in­volved with the city and the school sys­tem and we’re not just out there on our own.”

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