KINGSTREE, S.C. – Proposed renovations to the Chavis Recreational Facility in Hemingway include a splash pad, a multipurpose football and soccer field and walking trail.

The issuance and sale of a $600,000 bond authorized by the Williamsburg County Council at a meeting Tuesday evening will help fund projects for the Chavis Recreational Facility, in addition to the Stuckey EMS. The county has designated $300,000 from the funds for each project.

Williamsburg County Recreation Director Andre Dorsey said the recreation department wants to give Hemingway residents an opportunity to share in some of the same activities that are provided by the Kingstree Recreational Department.

Currently, the Chavis One Stop building in Hemingway only has a gymnasium, picnic shed and outdated playground equipment, which can be dangerous, Dorsey said.

The recreation department is proposing to add an all-in-one, multipurpose football and soccer field. The field will allow the department to use its own facility for youth games instead of the field at Hemingway High School.

“If we’re talking about saving money, we actually have to pay the high school, their custodian, in order for us to use and utilize their fields,” Dorsey said. “So what we wanted to do is scale back on some costs, and this is one way we can definitely do it.”

Dorsey said he has noticed that there are a lot of people in the Hemingway area who crave health and wellness.

“And one of the things that we wanted to target is our elderly,” Dorsey said. “We have Vital Aging that is housed in the Chavis complex building, and they’re [participants] consistently walking the hallways.”

Being able to get out and walk a track will give seniors an opportunity to have more mobility as well as an atmosphere to be involved in outdoor activities, Dorsey said.

Other renovations or additions at the complex and recreation center include new playground equipment, a zero-entry splash pad and multipurpose building. These amenities could be used for birthday parties, family fun, and school and civic group parties, among other things, Dorsey said.

Williamsburg County Supervisor Stanley S. Pasley said once the county gets bids and give notices to proceed, construction should take six to nine months.

Pasley said the project will cause no impact on the county’s current budget and minimal impact on the budget that will be proposed for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Funds other than those provided by the bond will be used for the project.

Pasley said proceeds from the bond will also assist with renovations and upgrades to the fire station in Stuckey. Renovation to the station will allow the county to house its emergency medical service unit that is currently located at the Hemingway Outpatient Center.

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