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Community leaders gather input on Louetta Moore Park

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Posted: February 25, 2008 7:16 a.m.
Updated: March 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Community leaders gather input on Louetta Moore Park

A survey is now underway to help determine a future course to improve Louetta Moore Park.


    At least 80 people from all over the community showed up last Thursday to give their opinion and voice their concerns at the Luetta Moore Park Needs Assessment town hall meeting. While some comments were measured and others heated, the forum was an opportunity for those who wanted to be a part of the redevelopment process to express their views.

            The primary focus of the meeting was to determine what to do with the existing structure at the park and what purpose a new building would serve. Though a couple people expressed the desire to keep the building for sentimental and historical reasons, the majority appeared to favor a new structure. Councilman Gary Lewis was with those who want something new.

            “Ms. Luetta Moore needs a new building in her name,” said Lewis. “It’s time to move on. We can remember the old building with a marker. Renovation is out, newness is in.”

            In addition to community leaders, the majority of the Bulloch County Commissioners, Statesboro City Council and other elected and non-elected officials were on hand at the first meeting. The presentation was given by Osman Ercin, a senior planner at the firm hired to perform the needs assessment survey, Robert and Company. He said the study should be ready in about two months, which gives him time to gather opinions from as many individuals and groups in the community as possible.

            While some of the possible uses for the community building seemed out of order with the area, such as a rock climbing wall or a skate park, may people expressed interest in the facility being available to the entire community as well as being a centerpiece for the park.

            Southeast NAACP Director Francys Johnson was on hand at the meeting. He stressed the need quick action because the youth need a place to go after school.

            “It’s not premature, it’s overdue,” said Johnson. “We need a top-notch, multipurpose community center. Build a center we can use.”

            An unidentified man echoed these sentiments. He stood up and spoke, obviously irate over the neglect of the building and pool he has seen over the years.

            “The same way you (elected officials) can be voted in, you can be voted out,” said the man. “The county needs to come together with the city and get this thing done. Whatever it takes.”

            NAACP President Pearl Brown said she envisions the building large enough to hold family reunions, church social gatherings and community events. It should also have smaller spaces to accommodate classes for seniors, study rooms for students and partitioned space for meetings. She said something similar to the Honey Bowen Building on Fair Raid, but with more classrooms, greater flexibility and a slightly larger gathering space.

            County Manager Tom Couch said that though he didn’t speak for the entire board of commissioners, he felt they would echo his sentiments.

            “If we didn’t get it before, we certainly get it now,” said Couch. “But the county can’t do it alone. I feel both the city and county have the responsibility to participate. This park is as much Couch did say that, while he understands the desire to move forward with the project, he wants to make sure the county adequately plans for the buildings needs.

            “We want a building that will be used to its fullest extent. That’s what this planning process is all about,” said Couch. “Why not take the time and ask the kids who will be using the park as well as the adults? After all, we want to get it right the first time.”

            For those folks who were unable to attend the meeting but would like to offer their opinion about what should be placed at the park, they can fill out a needs assessment survey online. The survey can be found on the Bulloch County Web site, www.bullochcounty.net, by clicking the link “Luetta Moore Town Hall Meeting.”

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