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The City of Conway received a Municipal Achievement Award
for its indoor recreation facility
. Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's 72nd Annual Meeting on June 30. The city won in the 10,001 - 20,000 population category. Thirty-three cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
If you asked Conway residents to name the one city amenity they wanted in their community, many would come up with the same answer. They wanted an indoor recreation facility for exercise and fitness and a dedicated space for the city's growing youth athletic program.
City council worked on a master plan for a recreation complex and involved interested residents. The final plan included an indoor recreation facility and an expansion of an existing outdoor recreation complex that would add more ball fields, walking trails and other options for passive recreation.
A $6.5 million price tag required the city to put together a multi-year funding package drawing from several sources, including offering naming rights. The largest amount came from tax increment financing, which required intergovernmental cooperation among the city, county and local school district. Event space rentals and membership fees currently cover operational costs.
The resulting 60,000 square foot indoor facility houses two gyms; cardio, weight and fitness rooms; an indoor pool; walking track and meeting space. Conway officials also made improvements to existing recreation facilities by adding four athletic fields, parking areas, walkways and a concession stand with restrooms.
Conway residents are enjoying the new community space. The indoor facility has created a trend among residents of all ages to make health and wellness a priority. More than 3,000 individuals across every segment of the city's population have joined the center. Also, the city sponsors recreation programs and exercise classes open to the public. Community members can also rent meeting rooms and spaces for large gatherings.
"Conway officials listened to the needs of residents and came together to develop a facility to meet the needs of residents of all ages and increase the quality of life in the coastal hometown," said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association's website (www.masc.sc).
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit Association of incorporated cities and towns dedicated to raising the standards of municipal government through a broad range of services.