New rec center getting a workout

by | July 4, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: July 3, 2019 at 9:57 am

Recreation Department Director Chris Myers opened the door leading into the new fitness center Tuesday morning, ready to show off the new facility.
The new and improved fitness center, taking up approximately 3,000 square feet of space, was part of IP Builders’ project to rehab the existing recreation center and construct a nearly 17,000-square-foot addition.
IP Builders was given the $3.6 million contract to handle the construction. As the work continued, the county decided to have them handle the purchase of all the fitness center and gym equipment, a move that took the contract to $4 million.
On Tuesday, the new fitness center had just one occupant — a man on one of the series of treadmills facing a bank of large windows offering a view of a nearby wooded area.
“That’s one of my favorite members,” Myers said of the lone walker, Deake Fennell of Walterboro. “He has been a regular as long as I have been here.”
Myers proceeded to show of a large collection of free weights, pointing out that the fitness center had two complete sets of multiple weights.
Turning his attention to the wide array of exercise machines, Myers said, “We have machines for everything.” The cardio equipment has screens — if someone using one of the machines has a video account like Netflix, they can log on and watch as they exercise.
Looking back towards Fennell, Myers explained, “That’s the reason he can do one-and-a-half hours every day.”
Fennell said he has been walking for exercise for 10 years.
Asked his opinion the new fitness center, Fennell said, “I love it, it is beautiful. They did a good job.”
Myers said the new fitness center opened on July 1. In a little over 24 hours, he said, approximately 15 people had signed up for memberships.
The tour moved onto a new gym that is also part of the new extension. The existing gym in the 54-year-old original building was updated with a new floor on the basketball court. The court was also reconfigured to improve its use for volleyball.
“This is more of a activity gym,” Myers said. It can host classes, gymnastic programs and cheerleader sessions.
Last weekend, the Rec Center hosted a large women’s softball tournament involving 49 teams who came to Walterboro from as far as Virginia and Florida. The teams used the activity gym for their lunches.
“I expect to see a lot of events in both the old and new gyms,” Myers said.
One new facet of the new and improved Recreation Center, the splash pad located just outside the building, isn’t ready for use yet.
Myers said county officials are still working to set a date for the Recreation Center’s grand opening.

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