Lakeshore Park could become the home of Dalton State College’s soccer program, and the City Council took the first step on Monday in getting the park ready for college sports.
Council members voted 3-0 to approve a $254,675.89 contract with AstroTurf for a new artificial turf surface for the park’s soccer field. The council also voted 3-0 to approve the $64,900 purchase of a lighting system from Musco Sports Lighting of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and a $40,370 contract with Dalton’s Lawson Electric to install the lighting system.
Dalton State College Athletic Director Derek Waugh said the school hopes to have its soccer program in place soon.
“We submitted a proposal to the Board of Regents to start hiring a soccer coach this year with play to begin in fall of 2014,” Waugh said. “While this was not immediately approved, I am confident we will have soccer up and running as soon as we receive approval. I cannot think of anything more logical than giving our abundant local soccer talent an option to continue their careers and education at the college level.”
The Dalton High School Catamounts won the Class 4A boys state soccer championship last week, defeating Southeast Whitfield in the final.
Waugh said the city’s work at Lakeshore Park is vital to the college’s plans.
“It will be an amazing addition to the soccer community and city at large. If not for the support of Dalton Parks and Recreation, the city, the county and every other partner we have, I do not know how we could run our athletic department. We are receiving no state dollars for facilities. They are truly a Godsend,” he said.
Council member Denise Wood said the recreation department had been looking at making improvements at Lakeshore Park even before the college expressed an interest in playing there.
“This is a win-win. There’s nothing like a college sports team to bring people in and to get the community excited,” said Wood, who is the council’s liaison to the recreation commission.
Council members also voted 3-0 to approve:
• A $12,478 federal community housing improvement program (CHIP) loan to Yvonne Smith to rehabilitate her home on Nelson Street.
• A $19,710 CHIP loan to Marie Wright to rehabilitate her home on Murray Avenue.
Council member George Sadosuk was absent for medical reasons, and Mayor David Pennington votes only in the event of a tie.