Local artist pro­vides con­cept for pro­posed Ag Cen­ter

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net

What would a po­ten­tial Polk County Agri­cul­ture Cen­ter look like? It’s a ques­tion that one local artist was posed and pro­vided an an­swer for in the past weeks.

Su­san Wa­ters, who cre­ated the na­tiv­ity scene on dis­play at the Rock­mart Art Gallery dur­ing Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, pro­vided her tal­ents again to giv­ing a vis­ual in­spi­ra­tion for what could be for a cen­ter.

The ren­der­ing is part of an on­go­ing ef­fort by Glenn and Laura Robin­son along with other cit­i­zens and a newly formed board to build an Agri­cul­ture Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter in the mid­dle of the county to pro­vide a space and equip­ment for a va­ri­ety of agri­cul­ture-re­lated needs.

Robin­son com­mis­sioned the ren­der­ing as part of an on­go­ing cam­paign to get pub­lic and pri­vate as­sis­tance for the project. Wa­ters was sought to imag­ine what the build­ing would look like based on what other fa­cil­i­ties around the area.

The Robin­sons shared the ren­der­ing in re­cent weeks along with other groups dur­ing a Re­gion 1 com­mis­sion meet­ing in Polk County. They hope to con­tinue to so­licit sup­port from local of­fi­cials for help with con­struc­tion costs.

The cen­ter -- pro­posed to the county com­mis­sion in pre­vi­ous work ses­sions and the fo­cus of a Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia study – would seek to pro­vide an

agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion and show spa­ces for in­di­vid­u­als of all ages and groups. They even seek to pro­vide can­nery equip­ment for pub­lic use to help save what’s been grown lo­cally.

Cost es­ti­mates ini­tially for a 28,000 square foot fa­cil­ity are ac­cord­ing to a Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia study com­mis­sioned by

the county at some­where around $1.5 mil­lion for con­struc­tion, and more for up­keep.

When the study was dis­cussed by the County Com­mis­sion back dur­ing their Oc­to­ber 2018 work ses­sion, the board sought fur­ther dis­cus­sion in fu­ture meet­ings to fig­ure out where funds might po­ten­tially be found.

Fish Creek is the tar­get area for the pro­posed agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter.

Un­til such a project gets un­der­way, Polk County’s youth will have their own op­por­tu­ni­ties at Rock­mart High School as the new se­mes­ter starts.

The Agri­cul­ture Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter on the cam­pus is nearly com­pleted, and soon will of­fer local youth

op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn about an­i­mal sciences, have a show arena and ban­quet hall, and class­room and kitchen space. The project was paid for through the 2017 Ed­u­ca­tiononly Spe­cial Pur­pose, Local Op­tion Sales Tax fund ap­proved by vot­ers that is also fund­ing sev­eral other im­prove­ments in school cam­puses.

/ Contributed

Local artist Su­san Wa­ters pro­vided an artis­tic ren­der­ing of what a po­ten­tial Polk County Agri­cul­ture Cen­ter would look like if funds can be gath­ered to build the fa­cil­ity for pub­lic use.

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