Anderson Recreation Center set to start million-dollar expansion project

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ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) – Your evening in Anderson, could soon help fund entertainment for the whole community as the city will soon expand its recreation complex on Murray Avenue.

According to city officials, the expansion will be a $5.5 to $6 million project.

“This will finish out our complex, and it will be the largest rec project since we’ve done, since we opened up the recreation facility in 2006,” said Bobby Beville, City of Anderson Parks and Recreation Division Head.

“We’re going to add concession, restrooms, bleacher seating, a part of the walking track greenway, Whitner Creek Greenway, will be part of that. Bleacher-type seating and the wow factor is 98,000 square feet of synthetic turf. State-of-the-art, cutting edge,” Beville said.

Beville said an additional eleven acres of land will bring versality.

“We wanted something more than just a baseball softball field, we wanted versality,” Beville said. “But with our design now, it’s a multi-purpose type of field, that we can do baseball, softball, but we can do soccer. We can do football; we can have different types of events besides sporting events,” he said. “We can have four smaller youth soccer fields. We can have two regulation baseball fields, but you could also have Clemson football could come play, if they want it.”

All of the action will be played on 98,000 square feet of turf, making the venue fourth in the U.S. of its kind.

“This is the field, and it’s completely organic, biodegradable, carbon neutral,” Beville said.

“I have small grandchildren and I have great nieces and nephews that will certainly be involved and engaged in activities out here,” said recreation attendee Hilda Harbin.

Harbin walks at the recreation center at least five days a week. Harbin said she’s excited about the new walking track that will connect to the Whitner Creek Greenway.

“That’s another fun thing to be able to walk outside,” Harbin said.

“The section of the trail, it’ll go from Bleckley to Piedmont. It’s about two-tenths of a mile, but while we’re here doing this, we want to put that section in. It will connect to north Linley. Once we get out of this completed, we will leave the South end of Linley Park, and you’ll see work there probably next year, beginning where the trail will go from North Linley through South Linley, all the way through here; down to Bea Thompson Park, all the way over to Southwood,” Beville said.

The city will also add an open-air pavilion and area for picnic tables. There will also be bleachers with nearly 500 seats, and restrooms.

“Well, part of that is for tourism and to be able to get tournaments. With two fields, no restroom concession stand, we usually use it for league play, but it’s not attractive for outside people to come. This will provide us with the opportunity to have quality fields, quality amenities and a great city to play in. So, it’s going to attract tourism and it increases our hospitality and accommodations tax,” Beville said.

“We see people here just being able to walk to downtown get something quick,” Beville said. ” So, it’s going to increase our foot traffic downtown and you know, it’s just going to be a win win,” he said.

The City of Anderson said it expects to start construction in mid-August, and it could take at least ten months to complete.

Beville said it will use special obligation bonds for the project, and the payments will be paid back through hospitality fees from dining in the city.

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