The City of Newberry is on the cusp of a recreation renovation.
The city’s 16 parks have not had any major rehab and significant money spent on them in decades, said Newberry City Manager Jeff Shacker.
Most of the 100 acres of parks are built in old mill villages and the mills donated the land to the city.
Several years ago the city leaders undertook a recreation study with Clemson Extension and not the work is ready to start.
One thing the city leaders realize is that that county needs a centralized and large recreational complex.
Shacker says the city and other recreational providers have discussed the idea of a joint complex. But in tight budget years they know the project could not be done for some time but hope to use the next penny sales tax to build the complex.
In the mean time, the city is planning on getting creative with its facilities and still joining with others to provide and improve recreation.
Shacker says through improving recreation and the parks, the neighborhoods will be stabilized and revitalized.
The projects will be phased in over the next few years.
This fiscal year the city will undertake four projects.
The T-ball train league facility at Oakland Park and the youth football fields at Oakland will be relocated.
City leaders are working to identify new locations for these fields but expect to partner with others. The relocation and improvements for the relocation is estimated at $150,000 or less.
With the two ballfields being moved from Oakland Park, the design work will start to put a tennis complex on the property.
The complex will be able to host tournaments as well as matches for the local high schools and Newberry College.
The courts will also host league play and the recreation department will be able to have clinics and tennis lessons.
The tennis facility will also be a state-of-the-art complex that will be open to the public.
So far the city council has agreed to spend $8,000 on the design for the facility but will allot more funds as the project takes shape.
The next piece of the puzzle will be a major renovation to Vincent Street Park.
The park will become an outdoor basketball complex that will host tournaments.
The estimated $331,500 in work will include new courts, a playground, a new shelter and improved parking.
Once the work is complete the total renovation to Vincent Street Park will be complete and checked off the list.
Work should begin in the near future on the projects.