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City takes over Women’s Clubhouse

By Sherri Ellington The Women’s Clubhouse is now owned by Barnesville, but there will be no change in its current use. The city already owned the land on which it sits near Summers Field so the historic building will be repaired and preserved as part of the upcoming Summers Field Park. The land was acquired and turned into Summers Field in 1912, said historian Shanna English at the Oct. 7 council meeting. The park, once owned by the Stafford family, ran from the back yards of houses on Holmes Street to what is now Stafford Avenue ‘“ the street the building is on ‘“ along to College Drive. Back then it was known as Stafford Park. ’There was a small, very primitive building near the tannery where Dr. Woodall’s office is now,’ said English. ‘The women used it for a clubhouse and were given permission to move it, at their own expense, to the city land’ where it sits today. After a few fundraisers the move was completed around 1929, she said. ‘It took them some time to renovate and expand it.’ As the years went by the American Legion Auxiliary, then the Rotary Club, also began using the building. All but the Rotary Club, which moved its meetings to the College Career Academy building, can continue to meet there. Councilman Mark Stone voted to accept the quitclaim deed to the building from the Barnesville Women’s League. ’We’ve had limited funding (to care for the building) for some time,’ said Jean Buchanan, who chairs the clubhouse committee for both the Women’s League and American Legion Auxiliary. ‘Several clubs helped us maintain it but now the Rotary Club has outgrown it.’ As part of the park, the clubhouse will join the pool, civic center and E.P. Roberts Center as city-owned public facilities. ’The Women’s Clubhouse is part of the fiber of Barnesville,’ said councilman Larry Whitworth. He noted a rendering of the plans for the new park are available for viewing at city hall. ‘When it’s finished I think it’ll be a place we can all be proud of,’ Whitworth said. After the deed was accepted council rescinded two resolutions related to a Department of Transportation grant that will pay for the renovation of the field, both related to adjustments in the low bid. The resolutions re-awarded the contract to the low bidder and approved an $800,000 loan to be borrowed from United Bank to help pay for the work. The interest rate was 1.98%; the loan is to be paid back in September 2015. ’The cost was considerably higher than we’d planned in our budget,’ said city manager Kenny Roberts. The low bid was dropped to $1.8 million; the reductions will come via change orders to bring it down to the budgeted amount.

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