North Charleston council makes progress with proposed aquatic center

North Charleston council makes progress with proposed aquatic center
Source: Save CofC Swim and Dive

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - The North Charleston City Council discussed it's proposed aquatics center Thursday night at its council meeting.

Dorchester School District voters approved a tax increase in 2012 to pay for it, but five years later it is yet to be built.

"It's kind of a lengthy time to wait for something like that to open that would be good for everybody," Berkeley/Dorchester resident Lecey Adair said.

District 4 North Charleston councilman Ron Brinson says that the vote in 2012 happened before the district paired with the city.

"There was no connection between the school district's project and our project when that referendum was approved," Brinson said.

North Charleston City Council passed two agenda items at their meeting Thursday which made them one step closer to breaking ground.

The new, multi-million dollar swimming facility would be built on donated land on Patriots Boulevard adjacent to Fort Dorchester High School.

Mayor Keith Summey said the district is getting a bigger, better aquatics center by joining forces.

"[Five years] is what it took to get what we both wanted," Summey said. "This was actually a deal for the school district. We got with them because we were looking at doing the same things in the same area."

The school district will use it's $7.5 million towards the project and the city will foot the rest of the bill.

"Our community is really looking forward to it. It's about a $20 million facility," Brinson said. "It's beginning to look more and more like a reality."

It may be adjacent to Fort Dorchester High but it will be open for all.

"The emphasis will be on Dorchester District 2 students and the North Charleston community, regardless of county lines," Brinson said.

The pool at the Summerville YMCA is the closest recreational pool for most North Charleston and Dorchester County residents.

That location is about a 30-minute drive.

"Transportation in North Charleston is troubling," Summerville YMCA employee Seth Summers said. "Having something in your backyard that's easily accessible will be great for them."

"People like myself who don't have a vehicle, something close by to get to that would be a little bit nicer instead of having to take a 35-40 minute drive," Adair said,

The goal is to have the project complete in 2018.

"If all goes well, we should be breaking ground sometime around fall," Brinson said.

"We'll have it ready, hopefully, within the next 18 months," Summey added.

"I think it's a good idea, especially because the pool that we have here gets a lot of use," Summers said.

North Charleston City Council reports they are currently in the design phase of the project. They hope to reveal the completed designs in the upcoming months.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.