New community center to serve residents along Dorchester Road

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Residents of North Charleston will soon have a new place to play and enjoy their community. Officials announced a new recreation center to be opened by spring of next year, off Dorchester Road next to Doorway Baptist Church and Foxwood Drive.

The 4,400 square foot Dorchester Road Community Center will offer citizens several activities and a place to come together. The city says this rec center is vital in the area because there are thousands of residents nearby who don't have transportation to other area rec centers. It will include a big common room, kitchen, office, and computer lab.

"We'll be doing after school programming. They'll be a ten week summer camp program. We'll have a computer lab where we can teach parents as well as kid's computer programming. There will be a lot of senior citizens programs," North Charleston Parks and Recreation Department Director Ed Barfield said.

The project is expected to cost $800,000, to be paid for out of the city's capital improvement fund.

The center will also be used for community meetings or rented out for small receptions. This is the 20th community center serving the nearly 100,000 residents of the city.

With so many community centers located throughout the city of North Charleston, citizens say they don't have to go far for fun, many times free recreational activities.

"I can ride my bike, walk, whatever. Catch everyone I know I see around the community. It's great. You've got kids coming in every now and then so you can give them pointers on how to get ahead," Bryan Hennigan said.

US Census data shows this city is the third largest city statewide.

Mayor Keith Summey says aside from keeping citizens active, it also keeps people involved in the community.

"A community has got their neighborhoods engaged. They are our eyes and ears. They know what their needs are in their individual communities. If we don't have a way for them to get that information to us, we think this opens the community up and they can solve a lot of the issues themselves just by discussion," Mayor Summey said.

Those using the community centers say it is making a positive difference now and also into the future.

"If you look at what happens in Charleston as far as the inner city, crimes, things of that matter, it's always great to have recreational centers, possibly start more leagues, kids leagues, so you can keep them active, keep them out of trouble," JT Knight said.

North Charleston was established as a city in 1972, but it runs the Park Circle Community Center, which dates back to the forties and was owned by the federal government.

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