National Guard Armory could become community recreation center

  • Friday, August 8, 2014

Summerville’s Parks and Recreation Department believes the best use for the old National Guard Armory building on Hickory Street would be to convert it to a community recreational center, geared towards all ages.

Manager Doyle Best delivered the department’s ideas during the town’s standing committees meeting Aug. 6.

“The programming opportunities for a facility such as this are endless,” Best said.

Parks and Rec posted a blueprint displaying proposed facility amenities, including a gym with six retractable basketball goals in the main hall, along with a dividing curtain to halve the space and sleeves for a vollyball net; office space; a commercial-grade kitchen for cooking classes and catering; a fitness room with exercise equipment and a space for fitness classes; meeting and classroom space; multi-purpsose rooms; a computer lab; and storage space.

Parks and Rec envisions fitness classes such as yoga, pilates, Zumba and karate; arts classes like dance, painting and musical instruction; enrichment programs including after-school programs, monthly health clinics, healthy cooking classes and mentoring programs; miscellaneous programs such as Red Cross First Aid/CPR, babysitting and dog obedience classes; recreational sports; and other programming opportunities such as theater, youth summer camps, facility rentals and room rentals.

“This is our rough draft – our first shot at it,” Best said.

Councilman Aaron Brown supported the idea of having after-school programs in place for teenagers.

“The Friday Night Lights program is very successful in the city of Charleston because they aim at those particular youth who are approaching adulthood and are prone to get into some sort of criminal activities,” he said. “Organized sports are something that we need. As adults we need this type of venue where we have controlled activity for students.”

Councilman Bob Jackson suggested utilizing the armory as a storm shelter.

“This community center would meet everybody’s needs,” he said. “I think it’s great.”

No public comments were taken during the meeting. Within the next week, the town plans to announce the date for a public comment session.

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