Resaca Visitors' Center Status
BY CHARLIE CRAWFORD
GEORGIA BATTLEFIELDS ASSOCIATION
In 2000, the state of Georgia purchased 505 acres of the Resaca battlefield to the west of I-75, but plans to interpret the site were put on hold because of the economic downturn that began in 2001. In 2008, the legislature authorized a $3 million bond issue to build a visitors center and an access road. The estimated cost for all improvements—interpretive markers, directional signs, walking trails, etc.—is $5 million, but the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) felt the funds resulting from the bond issue would allow the project to get started. Thus, a ground breaking ceremony for the visitors’ center was held last October (November 2008 newsletter). In November, Georgia Battlefields Association and Friends of Resaca representatives provided a battlefield tour to the visitors’ center display designer.
As state revenues plunged over the course of 2009, DNR decided to defer construction of the visitors’ center for fear of sending the wrong signal about state spending, even though construction was to be funded from a bond issue rather than an appropriation. Consequently, completion date for the visitors’ center is unknown, and it almost certainly will not serve as a centerpiece for the state’s Civil War Sesquicentennial efforts.