Casey Community Center resumes gymnastics

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Hundreds of children and parents are jumping for joy after gymnastics returns to Casey Community Center in Goose Creek. The program had been temporarily suspended after an air conditioning unit went out.

Now, the swoosh of cool air and the pitter patter of little feet is heard once again. This is a stark contrast to the empty, silent, and hot state that it has been in.

"We put in a new unit back in 2004, but we have issues occasionally when it goes out," said Gary Stuber recreational director for the city of Goose Creek.

This time, the AC unit went out for two weeks, leaving more than 200 children ages 2-17 with nowhere to practice gymnastics. A local mom, who has had her children in the gymnastics program for three years, said even if they had remained open, with no AC, she doesn't think her kids would have wanted to go.

"I think that these children would be hot, sweaty and cranky, and that they wouldn't want to," she said.

She also commented that the two week stint without gymnastics was tough on her family.

"I felt a loss because my kids couldn't come here and they really enjoy it, so they took a loss, and I took a loss as well."

Another parent didn't take the closing as hard. In fact, she expected it.

"Things happen when it's an older building you have to make repairs."

For more than forty years now, they have been making adjustments. The gymnastics program started here in a tiny room in the Casey Community Center. Overtime, it outgrew it and had to be moved into the gymnasium. That temporarily solved the space problem, but the larger room came with a new set of issues.

"The rain comes in from the roof, right there," says Stuber, pointing to a water stain along the ceiling. He said the rainy spring and summer have made the leaks worse.

Stuber says the building is turning into a money pit. He wonders if repairs are worth it.

"Do you take money to put in a metal building that will probably always leak or do you try to funnel your money toward something new," asks Stuber?  He then adds that this answer should be left up to the public to decide.

Stuber said although repairs are expensive, a new facility will cost a lot more, and money is an issue that has yet to be fixed.

The Goose Creek City Council has already had one reading on a proposed two percent hospitality fee on all prepared foods. Revenue earned from the fee could be used to pay for a new gymnastics facility.

However, the city has not set a date for second hearing on the ordinance.