SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WTOC) - The Springfield Revitalization Corporation was established back in the mid-1990s to help bring life back to downtown after construction of a bypass sent most travelers away from the city.
Now, more than two decades later, the SRC is dissolving, saying they’ve accomplished what they set out to do.
“We set up our final meeting and we voted to dissolve the organization because it wasn’t needed anymore because it did its job. It did what it was made to do which was save downtown in a time when it desperately needed saving,” said Springfield Community Development Director Erin Phillips.
A town once on the brink brought back to life, with the Springfield Revitalization Corporation leading the work, work that began by saving an iconic fixture of Laurel Street.
“One of the major things that they did that we can all see today is the Mars Theatre. They wanted to save that building,” said Phillips.
Of course, it took years to become a reality, but it seems the work was well worth it.
“Now it is an anchor downtown. It has helped create the atmosphere that we need to get the businesses open in the evening which is something we have desperately been trying to do,” Phillips said.
They’ve not only extended business hours but also added more businesses to the downtown strip.
“The demand is bigger than we can actually satisfy to be truthful with you,” said Downtown Development Authority Chair Dee Moncrief.
Moncrief and the DDA will now be picking up where the SRC has left off, aiming to continue the wave of momentum that began so many years ago.
“The next goal is to continue the good work. We don’t want to lose focus of what we already accomplished, by always looking forward,” said Moncrief.
It seems the city of Springfield is doing just that. The day the SRC dissolved, two new leases were signed — one for a new CrossFit gym in the old firehouse and the other to James Carlson for the Old Coop Building.
“Springfield is growing. I had a 100 percent faith in Springfield,” said Carlson.
A faith built over years of work by members of the SRC, and work that will forever be part of downtown Springfield.
“They should look at downtown and be very proud of what they’ve done because it would not look like this if they hadn’t done what they did,” said Phillips.
The DDA will also continue hosting some events once held by the SRC, including the Springfield Century Ride and the fall 5k run.