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Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)
No opening date has been set yet, but the Cane Bay YMCA is inching closer to completion.
Officials hope the long-awaited 54,000-square-foot facility, under construction in one of the fastest growing communities in the region, will be finished by October.
"It feels like we've been waiting for this a long time," said Kimberly Nolte, executive director of Berkeley County Family YMCA.
First announced more than five years ago, the project was delayed while funding was worked out.
Then, after officials broke ground in June 2017, there were more delays due to the weather. Work was shut down for days during the snowstorm in January, and the construction period saw nearly 140 rain days, including 20 in May alone.
But since then, crews have worked 12-hour shifts daily in an effort to catch up.
Neighborhood residents like Lisa Howard think it will be worth the wait.
"Our real estate agent was talking about this YMCA when we bought our house five years ago," she said. "We began to wonder if it would ever be built. But now that it is, I guess I've lost my excuse for not working out because I can ride my bike there in just a few minutes."
The center will offer more than exercise opportunities. It will also have classes, sports, performances and community events.
"I think it will be a benefit to my entire family," she said. "My kids play sports. My husband likes to swim. We can go to the library. There's just so much we'll be able to do there."
The privately funded, $24 million project will include a wellness center, gym, indoor jogging track, pickleball courts, meeting spaces and a 25-yard indoor pool. The building will be surrounded by multipurpose fields, tennis courts and trails.
The workout rooms will be equipped with the latest trends in fitness, such as state-of-the-art spin bikes, extreme sport training and more, Nolte said.
In addition, the facility features a 5,000-square-foot library built in collaboration with Berkeley County. The county kicked in $1 million for construction.
Cane Bay Presbyterian Church will also rent space for offices and hold Sunday services in the gym.
The 68-acre site, donated by Cane Bay developer Gramling Brothers Real Estate and Development Co., is the largest non-camp land gift in YMCA history.
The project is funded by $17.1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program with CresCom Bank providing the interim financing, and Farmers & Merchants Bank providing an additional guaranteed loan of $2 million. The YMCA of Greater Charleston kicked off a capital campaign for Cane Bay in May that has already raised nearly $2 million toward its $5 million goal.
A second phase will include a water park, special event space and additional fields, Nolte said. A timeline for that project has not been set.
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