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ACC Commissioners move ahead with two big SPLOST projects

Athens-Clarke County Unified Government

Athens Clarke County commissioners moved ahead on Tuesday with the next steps in two major building projects funded by SPLOST.

At their monthly voting meeting, commissioners saw project concept and site selection criteria for a new judicial center, which would provide much needed space for courthouse functions. The Commission unanimously approved the concept, which moves the project along to the next stage of the process, selecting the site where the judicial center will be built, probably somewhere in or near downtown. Commissioners are expected to see a list of potential sites next May and vote on a final site in September 2023. If the process stays on track, construction would begin in about 2 years.

Commissioners also saw site selection criteria for a new east side library. Must haves for the new library include the ability to accommodate at least 200,000 visits a year and space for 50,000 books, in addition to a large meeting room and a children's area.

District 8 Commissioner Carol Myers highlighted the extensive public interest in the project.

"This was very impressive to me. 285 public surveys were filled in on the East Side Library," Myers said. "So some of the criteria were involved and we also expanded the geographical area to go over to Peter Street as well."

If the project stays on track, commissioners will approve an actual design in January of 2024. Construction could begin in November 2024.

Commissioners held off on approving project concept changes to Timothy and Mitchell Bridge Roads. That item is expected to be back in front of the Commission next month.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.