Decatur, Georgia, Citywide Athletic Facilities Master Plan

Location: Decatur, Georgia
Client: City of Decatur

This Comprehensive Athletic Facility Master Plan for the City of Decatur, Georgia was the result of an unusual partnership – a partnership comprised of the seven primary recreation providers in the area. Members of the partnership include the City of Decatur, City Schools of Decatur, Decatur-Dekalb YMCA, Samuel L. Jones Boys and Girls Club, Columbia Theological Seminary, United Methodist Children’s Home and Agnes Scott College. Each provided varying levels of recreation facilities and programs. Together they recognized the need to develop a strategy to merge resources and needs for unification and long-range planning in order to provide the most efficient programs and the best use of facilities for residents of Decatur.

Many of the parks and private facilities were overused, and the developable space on the high school campus was negligible. Therefore, the master plan sought ways to expand programs and develop partnerships to relieve the overuse of existing facilities using limited financial resources to improve these existing facilities. Lose & Associates performed a series of interviews, facility assessments and public meetings and conducted a steering committee workshop to gather input for determining the future needs of the community. The resulting master plan identified the critical needs, which included improved athletic facilities, indoor and outdoor swim facilities, trails and sidewalks, a skate park, dog parks and an outdoor track. Recommendations totaling $17.7 million were detailed. Since the plan was developed, new partnerships have been formed, new facilities planned, and private funds have been raised for the skate park. The city’s athletic planning has exemplified the benefits of partnerships between public and private organizations.