It’s not quite finished, but already the new Daniel Island Community Recreation Center is generating plenty of fanfare.
Last week, Daniel Island Neighborhood Association members Frank Walsh and Marcia Miller, who have worked alongside City of Charleston officials on planning for the project, got an inside look at the progress being made.
“Oh, my!” exclaimed Miller, after stepping inside the lofty new 3,400-square-foot multipurpose room, which can be divided into separate spaces for various recreation activities or other gatherings. “This is something! This will be a much used space.”
As construction workers busily moved about the facility’s interior spaces, Miller and Walsh took in the sights. Moving down halls painted a deep blue, reflective of the ocean of possibilities that will soon exist in the long-anticipated space, they entered the two story gymnasium on the other side of the facility.
“This will be a star in the family of community centers in the city of Charleston,” added Miller. “… I really believe it will be a premiere facility. It’s new and it’s phenomenal. It’s going to be in demand.”
According to Walsh, the center, which will be run by the city’s recreation department, has been in the planning stages for over a decade. When asked how he felt about seeing the results of years of collaborative efforts, Walsh summed up his thoughts with one word.
“Finally!” he said.
The site will primarily serve the Daniel Island and Cainhoy peninsula communities, but is open to all city residents. In addition to a full-size basketball court that meets high school regulation standards, the facility has multiple other rooms and spaces for additional activities such as weightlifting, fitness classes, craft activities, and meetings.
“We have an anchor for the community, a gathering place,” added Walsh. “…It will encourage different groups when they meet in here to socialize when they get together, to form friendships and other groups. We hope it will be a social catalyst.”
Cost estimates on the building were originally a little over $5 million, but the end product is in the $10 million range.
The building was scheduled to open early next year, with an anticipated completion of construction in January, but recent revisions to the city’s 2021 budget due to revenue shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may delay the opening until July.
After touring the facility last week, Walsh learned of the potential delay in the grand opening and expressed his disappointment, calling the situation a “dream deferred.”
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