City tweaks DI Recreation Center design based on community feedback
Plans for the new $9.5 million Daniel Island Recreation Center in Governors Park continue to evolve in advance of the facility’s anticipated groundbreaking this fall.
According to City of Charleston Director of Parks Jason Kronsberg, the latest designs show a new exterior color scheme and a slight shuffling of interior spaces based on the City’s initial review of the conceptual plans with a citizen sub-committee, the Daniel Island Architectural Review Board, Mayor John Tecklenburg and City Councilman Gary White.
Among the feedback received from each group, explained Kronsberg, was a request for multiple rooms where many different groups could gather at the same time on the same day.
“We reviewed the input with the consultant team and they went to work and revised the plans which resulted in a floor plan that we feel really good about that could accommodate up to eight activities at the same time - from team sports to smaller club gatherings.”
The refined floor plan grew the building a little over 1,400 square feet, stated Kronsberg. The designers were able to accomplish this within the enlarged footprint by creating a designated fitness room that will be outfitted with stationary fitness equipment facing an exterior glass wall, he said.
The fitness space can be programmed for many uses, Kronsberg continued, such as cardio classes or arranged tables with up to 50 chairs. A meeting room was also expanded that will accommodate approximately 20 chairs around a large table.
“We also re-evaluated the staff office area and re-programmed the space to add an additional meeting room,” he said.
Also part of the design, in addition to the three meeting rooms and designated fitness space, is a large, 3,400 square foot multi-purpose room that can accommodate approximately 290 chairs and includes an open porch area overlooking the athletic fields. This large room can also be divided into separate spaces via a sliding partition wall to accommodate two different gatherings at the same time, noted Kronsberg. There is also a gym that will provide a full sport court which is dividable into two half courts areas.
“We are really excited to move this project forward,” added Kronsberg. “And are confident that the architectural style will fit well into Daniel Island while providing a wonderful and signature civic space at Governors Park to activate more recreational opportunities for the citizens of the City of Charleston.”
Daniel Island residents Frank Walsh and Marcia Miller, who are the only two members of the citizen subcommittee for the new facility, are grateful for the design changes, but they would like to see plans go even further to address the community’s needs.
“This is what the City can give us for $9.5 million dollars - and we thank them very much,” said Walsh. “But there is such a great need for space for clubs, groups, and activities…and we still don’t know the hours it will be open each day…What residents want and what they need is space for more activities and meetings.”
Walsh and Miller are hoping additional funding, above and beyond what the City is providing, can be identified to enhance the project further.
“We’re trying to maximize the amount as much as we can for the community,” said Miller.
According to Councilman White, he is working on some possible new funding sources.
“I am currently meeting with outside organizations that have shown an interest in participating with providing funding to add some additional programming to the facility that is outside of our current scope of the project,” stated White.
“We’ve tried to get what we can from the City and we’re thankful for what they’ve provided,” added Walsh. “…And with Councilman White’s help, hopefully we can enhance the experience for the community even more.”
Once construction on the project begins, it is anticipated that the facility will take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete.
The original estimated budget for the project was $8 million, said White, but the rising cost of construction has increased that total to $9.5 million.
“We have already allocated funding in the amount of $1 million to the project,” he continued. “I have been working diligently with the City’s CFO and Chief Bond Council to put together a Recreation Bond to fund the remaining cost of the project. We are preparing to bring the bond forward for a vote of City Council in July.”