Anderson sports complex to receive $7 million facelift to boost economy, recreation

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ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Anderson Area YMCA has a $7 million sports and recreation project in the works, that’s expected to bring a big boost to the county.

The grounds to the Duckworth Tucker Athletic Complex are getting ready to double in size.

Currently, it serves more than 3,000 children every year in youth sports. Now, an additional 31 acres will be added to the property, bringing its total to more than 60 acres.

“We have got a $7 million dollar capital project set to begin in the next couple of months. This has been a long time coming. 21 years ago, the John Tucker family donated an additional 31 acres that we’re going to add to this current complex to make a total of 62 acres in its entirety,” said Joe Drennon, CEO of Anderson Area YMCA.

The complex will include a playground, four dedicated baseball fields, and five multi-purpose fields. The multi-purpose fields can be used for soccer, football and lacrosse, according to YMCA officials.

“We’ll be able to play tee-ball on one of the multi-purpose fields also,” Drennon said.

Drennon also said there will be places for businesses to play softball or host team building exercises. 

In addition, Anderson School District Five has contributed $1.9 million for a state-of-the-art cross country track.

“We have committed $1.9 million dollars, and that’s out of our sales tax revenue. And we think it’s money well spent,” said Superintendent Tom Wilson, Anderson School District Five.

Wilson said students at T.L. Hanna and Westside High Schools will be able to safely practice and compete on a 5K trail. Wilson said spectators will be able to see runners go around the track twice during the meets.

“It’s going to be a unique course. It goes through woods, it crosses a couple of streams and some bridges. It’ll be all high tech with digital display boards, PA systems,” Wilson said.

Wilson said currently, cross country runners practice on sidewalks near their schools.

“Running on Highway 81 even though it has a sidewalk, it’s not the best place to go jogging because it’s a lot of traffic,” Wilson said.

The district said the venue will give them an opportunity to host regional, state, and possibly national meets.

“Our goal is to be able to host a state cross country meet. To host regional meets, and even host a national meet, if that’s possible,” Wilson said.

Drennon said the community will be able to walk the trail and hold other events.

“Without question, it will be a huge tremendous economic development income boost to our county. We will host weekend tournaments out here. Hopefully we’ll attract cross country meets regionally also, and all that means heads in beds and economic dollars pouring into our county,” Drennon said.

“Those folks that are coming are spending money in Anderson and it’s helping local businesses. It’s helping sales tax collection for the schools, so it’s a win win situation,” Wilson added.

The YMCA is hoping to start construction late June or early July. Drennon said it will take about a year to complete.

Drennon said they’ve raised $5.1 million for the project, and now they need about $2 million to complete.

To see how you can donate to the Anderson Area YMCA’s Play It Forward campaign, click here.

The Anderson Area YMCA will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday at the sports complex. The ceremony is set to start at 11 a.m.

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