Federal funds sought to raze old football stadium
by The Press and Standard | September 6, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 5, 2018 at 8:33 am
When the possibility of securing Community Development Block Grant funding arose recently, Colleton County government went after it.
Colleton County Administrator Kevin Griffin explained that a regional plan to seek CDBG grant funding was found not to meet the requirements for securing the grant and was scrapped.
Word went out to Lowcountry political subdivisions that federal dollars for community development that would have been going to the regional project were now available.
But, he added, the deadline for applying for those funds was rapidly ending.
Colleton County government was eligible to apply, but did not have a project ready to apply for the funds.
Griffin called Colleton County School District Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster and wondered if the school district might have a possible project that would meet the neighborhood development guidelines for the possible grant money.
Foster suggested seeking the funds to demolish the old Bulldog Stadium, which has been unused since the new high school was constructed. The high school project included the construction of a new football stadium as part of the high school complex.
In late October of 2017, a potential sale of the stadium was a topic of discussion in a school board executive session
No action was taken on the potential sale of the 15 acres and the 12,000-square-foot concrete stands.
The stadium property has been for sale for approximately three years with Coldwell Banker Todd Land Agency handling the real estate listing.
At the time of possible sale, the county was seeking $126,000.
Griffin said demolishing the abandoned stadium with its massive concrete home stands was a good fit for seeking the federal funds.
Then Walterboro joined the project to obtain the CDBG funds, as the stadium and its grounds are in the city limits.
Walterboro is also eligible for CDBG funds but can’t apply for any more until they close out the CDBG projects they already have underway.
Griffin explained that even though the proposed project is within the city limits, and is on land owned by the school district, eliminating the old stadium will benefit the county.
He pointed out that the county is one of the abandoned stadium’s neighbors. The stadium sits on the other side of Black Street from the Warshaw Complex.
The plans to demolish the old stadium, Griffin explained, will only go forward if the county is successful in obtaining the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant.
Griffin said the county, school district and city still have to work out the details of their partnership should the grant be approved. A large portion of those talks would be how the three political subdivisions could put together the $50,000 local match required to obtain the federal funds.
Lowcountry Council of Goverments, which works on Community Development Block Grant proposals and programs with the communities within thee LCOG jurisdiction, is scheduled to conduct a public hearing to obtain public comments on the grant application at county council’s Sept. 11 meeting.