$23 million bond boosts recreational facilities in Lexington County

A rendering of the planned Lexington County Recreation and Aging Recreation building on Barr Road.

The Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission has completed some major projects over the last six years.

Using a $23 million bond issue approved by the Lexington County Council in 2013, the commission has accomplished a number of advancements:

• Converted the former Wildcat Hallow football stadium into a multipurpose facility. Cost: $3 million. It is home to the Lexington County Blowfish and is rented for baseball tournaments and concerts.

• Refurbished a Pine Ridge Road complex to accommodate as many as three sports and to hold tournaments. Cost: $5 million. The Midlands Sports Complex contains one football and six baseball fields for use by T-Ball, Coaches Pitch, Minors, Majors, O-Zone, Dixie Boys and Pony Leagues, and tournaments during weekends. It has also enabled softball and Midlands football teams to move from Bray Park.

• Expanded soccer complexes in Swansea and Gaston to host two sports tournaments. Cost: $500,000.

Designed to improve recreational facilities throughout Lexington County, the project has enabled over 9,000 youngsters to participate in seven sports.

“With the bond, we’ve addressed facilities for the future growth of Lexington County,” Executive Director Randy Gibson said. “(The response) has all been positive. The communities with the different leagues have been very excited. Obviously, to have new facilities, but also showing that we’re trying to address the future growth in Lexington County.”

Commission’s mission

Created by the S.C. Legislature in 1968 to serve as a special purpose district, specifically Lexington County School District’s 1-4, the commission’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all citizens through program services, facilities and education.

Among the other completed projects and the estimated allotted funding through the bond:

•Red Bank Sports Complex ($800,000) – The construction of two new softball fields and a paved parking lot.

• Pine Ridge & Gilbert senior centers ($1.3 million combined) – The construction and expansion of the facilities to share with the towns of Pine Ridge and Gilbert.

•Lexington Dixie Youth Complex ($500,000) – Renovations to improve safety and parking with the goal of holding future Dixie Youth World Series events in Lexington.

Two of the 3 remaining projects already allocated through the bond are currently underway in Lexington and Gilbert. The $5 million Lexington Soccer Complex on Barr Road will provide three full-size soccer fields which will allow major tournaments by the S.C. Youth Soccer Association and property reserved to build a new gymnasium to house two full-size basketball courts for basketball and volleyball and replace the Ball Park Road Gym.

Meanwhile, the Gilbert Sports Complex is close to completion. This will include six baseball fields, allow girls softball to expand from three to eight fields and usage for weekend tournaments.

The third project adds canteens and restrooms to the Swansea and Gaston locations.

Categories: Lexington, Lexington County, Sports, West Columbia