Commission to sell Ed DeFore Sports Complex, use money on Henderson Stadium

Evan Watson (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Macon-Bibb County Commission passed a resolution Tuesday night to move forward with the sale of the Ed DeFore Sports Complex to the Bibb County Board of Education.

The complex, which is currently owned by commission but used by the school board for things like high school sporting events, will sell for a projected cost of $3.8 million.

Bibb County Board of Education Chief of Staff Keith Simmons said that this will give BOE more autonomy and an ability to work more quickly when renovating facilities since the sale cuts out the middle man of county commission.

Simmons said that BOE has wanted to acquire the sports complex for some time but noted that they won't necessarily change the type of events taking place there. Still, Simmons said that the board now has an option to add different types of events if it wished to do so in the future.

Simmons also mentioned that the board will not be changing the name of the Ed DeFore Sports Complex, a concern which has previously been brought up.

Per the resolution passed Tuesday evening, proceeds from the sale will be used to improve Henderson Stadium, which is also currently owned by commission.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas said that this money is badly needed for Henderson Stadium. While commission is currently considering renovating the existing facility, Lucas said that she wants to look at the possibility of destroying it and having an entirely new complex built.

Lucas said, "Tearing it down and building from the ground up. I think that is an option we certainly need to explore."

Commissioner Joe Allen questioned the idea and asked commission why its still in the business of owning any stadium used by the school board. Allen said that commission needs to have a discussion about selling the facilities.

"We should get out, we don't do anything there at the ballparks. Let the school board run the ballparks - it won't cost us money down the road. We're trying to save as much money as we can," he said.

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