Greenville Co. Council votes to tear down community center; lawsuits filed in response

Local News

GREENVILLE CO., S.C. (WSPA)- Tuesday night, Greenville County Council voted 10 to 2 to demolish the Woodfield Community Center.

They plan to turn it turn the area into affordable housing. However, people throughout the community say they’ll do whatever they can to stop the center from being torn down.

Saleem Shabazz says he has fond memories of bringing his kids to the Woodfield Community Center after school.

“They used to enjoy it. They’d sit here all day long in the swimming pool,” Shabazz said.

When he heard it was being torn down, he​ was devastated, saying it’s one of the only places for kids in the neighborhood to play safely.

“The whole community suffers. I get a heartache every time I come by my street and see children playing basketball in the street,” Shabazz said.

Greenville County spokesperson Bob Mihalic released a statement:

“Greenville County Council has been and continues to be committed to increasing Affordable Housing options in the County. Last night, after three readings, a public hearing, and much debate, the Council voted to transfer property to the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority to further enhance a shared mission of providing affordable housing in accessible, safe neighborhoods. The GCRA will no doubt create housing that reflects the values and character of the community.”

Greenville County spokesperson Bob Mihalic

Some community members, like Gloria Thompson, say they’re going to challenge the fate of the center.

“We need this place. It may not look like much but it means a lot to the community, and for me, I’ve been over here for over 20 years, just up the street and I’ve been a part of this community my whole life, I grew up in district 25,” Thompson said.

Some even going as far as filing a lawsuit against the county.

“We have over 500 houses in this neighborhood, and each of them either have children or grandchildren. This is a beautiful place for children,” Mary Bryant said.

One community activist said he’s planning to register the community center as a historical landmark in hopes to preserve it.

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