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Published Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:21 PM

Dan Brown, Berkeley Independent

By Dan Brown

Berkeley Independent

 

photo by Dan Brown

Berkeley High School students donated more than 300 hours cleaning up the town's proposed recreation center complex site.

- Park and Recreation director DeWayne Kitts informed council that Berkeley High School teacher Paige Austell's government class donated what amounted to 300 man hours of work in clearing debris and rocks from the new Regional Recreation Complex last month. Austell's class had the option of either doing a project, attending a town or county council meeting, or doing community service work.

"Many students decided on the community service work," said Austell, who had approximately 20 students attending last week's town council meeting. "They truly loved working at the recreation site."

 

 

Moncks Corner breaks ground on rec complex

By Dave Munday

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MONCKS CORNER -- Dignitaries taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the town's long-awaited recreation complex Monday morning turned the earth with 16 golden shovels.

Actually, they were garden-variety D-handle shovels spray-painted gold, Public Service Director Butch Svagerko said after the ceremony. D's Jewelers engraved them with the occasion and date for free.

Photo by Dave Munday

Moncks Corner Mayor William Peagler talks Monday to the crowd at the groundbreaking of the town's recreation complex. Peagler acknowledged the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donated dollars that made the project possible.

The fancy shovels that didn't really cost that much were an example of the predominant theme of Monday's ceremony, which was a celebration of the community spirit that's brought the project this far.

Mayor William Peagler pointed out that hundres of volunteers donated their time and money to clean up the remnants of a lumber mill that used to operate on the 50-acre site on East Main Street.

The latest example is Pioneer Equiment Co., which has offered to grind up 6,000 tons of concrete on the site for free, he said. The town will use the crushed concrete for parking areas. The donation will save the town $75,000, Peagler said.

The savings put the town that much farther ahead on raising money to finish the project. The town $7.1 million to buy the land and build the first phase, but officials are relying on donations for the rest. The bond will be repaid from the town's 2 percent hospitality tax.

The first phase includes four baseball fields around a concession stand and a football and soccer field. Work is expected to start this summer and the fields open next summer. The first phase also includes a walking and biking trail that connects the fields to a nearby school.

A federal grant will pay for the trail.

Future plans include tennis courts and a recreation center with a basketball court, swimming pool, jogging track and community rooms.

The town also plans a farmer's market and picnic areas and playgrounds beside the complex.

"This is a community project," Peagler told about 50 people who turned out for the ceremony. "I hope this entire community shares the enthusiasm of finally bringing something positive to Moncks Corner."

The crowd included four previous mayors: Robert Helmly, James Law, Imogene Russell, and John West.

"I didn't imagine any of this," Helmly, who owns Home Telephone Co. and was mayor in the early 1960s, said after the ceremony.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.

 

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Moncks Corner comes together to build a place to play

Posted: Dec 29, 2010 6:26 PM EST Updated Jan 04, 2011 3:37 PM EST

 

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCIV) - It is costing millions, a place to play for a Lowcountry town and many in the community are coming together to make it happen.

Mayor William Peagler has a vision. It may not look like much right now as the area off Hiway 52 is filled with piles of rubble and dirt, but the town is clearing the way to build a recreation area.

"Every where I went there were recreation centers and children playing and I said, why not here," Peagler said.

The land was becoming an eye sore in the downtown area of Moncks Corner.

"This had fallen into disrepair. Hurricane Hugo, there was nothing going on here. There were undesirable activities happening here, a lot of trash on the site," Peagler said.

Town council gave the more than $7 million project the ok. Now, thy're building the first phase which will include ballparks, walking trails, a basketball court and safe haven for the community's kids. Town leaders also hope it will help the area make some cash.

"We're hoping as a benefit there would be more buisness brought to Downtown. It would re-energize the community here, more investment," Peagler said.

The town is not doing it alone as businesses and churches are pitching in to help.

"We had people to loan us equipment, the county became involved in this," Peagler said.

Santee Cooper is just one of those helpers.

"We were able to free up a track hoe and bulldozer and a dump truck to spend a couple of days to help collect concrete rubble," Santee Cooper Public Relations Director Mollie Core said. "I think Moncks Corner at its heart is very much a small town and this is a great example of what a small town can do when you pull all your resources."

With the town officially turning 125 this wekk, for leaders like Peagler, it's no better time to come together to create roots for Monkcs Corner's next generation.

 

Community Helping To Build Rec Center

Posted: Jan 09, 2011 5:40 PM EST Updated Jan 09, 2011 5:40PM EST

The Town of Moncks Corner faces funding issues building a new recreation complex downtown.

Volunteers have come forward to help drive down the cost.

An army of 300 volunteers braved the cold this weekend to help the town clear the 50 acre site off of Highway 52.

"Giving them a hand picking up the smaller stuff that they can't get to--picking up the metal and blocks that are scattered about the land," said volunteer J.W. Hill.

The abandoned site had become an eyesore in the community. Now progress is rolling along to transform the space into ballparks, walking trails, and basketball courts.

"This is for the youth and they are our future," said Public Service Director Butch Svagerko.

The town's biggest obstacle was finding the money to cover the $7 million price tag. The community offered a way to cut the cost. Local gropus, churches, and buisness have come out in droves to do some of the heavy lifting.

"We can only imagine what we are saving. Any time you have the power of volunteerism, any community would love to have this, but I do believe we are saving quite a bit on this," said Moncks Corner Councilmember Tonia Taylor.

Metal collected on this site will be taken to a scarp yard where they'll sell it. That money will be put back into the project.

"We're also using the concrete. We're going to crush it down to smaller sizes and recycle it to use for our parking areas," said Svagerko.

The volunteer manpower has been so overwhelming that the project is ahead of schedule. Town officials expect that support to continue.

"I don't see why it's going to change. Since day one we've had volunteers and it's unbelievable," said Svagerko.

The center is expected to open in the summer of 2012.