It’s good to see so many construction projects underway here

Published 6:17 pm Friday, June 21, 2013

At least once per week, I spend a couple of hours in my truck riding throughout the county on a “market tour,” just to see updates on construction projects and to discover what else might be happening in the county.

While you might not realize it, there is a good deal of building, construction, and moving of dirt going on in our community right now. That’s a great sign and exciting. While the economy might not be where it once was, I can definitely “feel” and see a lot of positive signs that Bainbridge and Decatur County are headed in the right direction.

By simply driving down Shotwell Street, you can see any number of new buildings begin erected and ongoing preparation for several more. The First Baptist Church of Bainbridge is constructing what looks to be a fine new addition to house their youth program.

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Further down the street, Five Star Credit Union has a beautiful new building that is less than a year old. Then you have Archbold Hospital’s new Bainbridge Clinic under construction, which will open immediately adjacent to a brand new Jones-Wheat Elementary School.

On the other side of Shotwell, Memorial Hospital recently completed a wonderful new facility, Amelia Place Medical Center, that will serve our community for years to come.

Continuing East on Shotwell, Action GM is undergoing a million dollar facelift that will make that dealership one of the nicest and most modern automobile dealerships in this area. And, across the street, Bainbridge State College is nearing completion of an expansion of its library. From all indications, that project is just the beginning of several years of non-stop facility upgrades, additions, and improvements to the BSC campus. Belk is also undergoing a renovation of more than $1 million.

Downtown, the newly remodeled Bainbridge City Hall is just days away from completion and Port City Deli will soon have a new home on the square. And, although the city council has received some criticism about spending roughly $3 million on the city hall renovation, I certainly believe they made the right decision by taking on this project. The city has been responsible stewards of SPLOST funds and the debt from this project will be entirely paid for from those tax receipts.

Heading west on U.S. Highway 84, the Southwind Travel Center, formerly the Bainbridge Truck Stop, has received an unbelievable facelift and it doesn’t even resemble the former building.

Going south, Burgundy Timber has a fantastic new home to house its forestry and trucking operations.
In what could turn out to be one of the most important developments in the county’s recent history, the peanuts that had been stored in the old Traco building at the Decatur County Industrial Park are all but removed, making way for a new tenant.

That new tenant will most likely be occupying that building in the near future, and could possibly be the cornerstone for future economic growth in our community. Decatur County will be the headquarters for a global manufacturing facility that utilizes the latest in technology and innovation. In the process, the old Traco site will be converted from a single 179,000 square foot building to a “campus” with multiple buildings and well over one million square feet.

Now, I am sure that from my list above, I omitted many other worthwhile projects and construction currently happening in the city and the county. But, to me, just this list should elicit a certain level of excitement and anticipation of what the future holds for our community.