Plans to create or expand more than a half-dozen parks in Georgetown County took a step forward this week.
Georgetown County Council members have given informal approval to the plans for 10 parks in four regions of the county, and around mid-September they will present them to area residents for their input, said Sel Hemingway, county administrator.
The plans are part of the area's capital improvement project, which has about $77 million dedicated to recreation projects. The capital improvement funds come from a variety of sources and are dedicated to making improvements across Georgetown County.
"Now we're ready to start the nuts-and-bolts phase," said Councilman Jerry Oakley. "We're making progress."
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Hemingway said once the public has offered suggestions, the cost estimates on the projects and the detailed planning for construction can begin.
The draft plans include major renovations to, or the creation of, parks in Andrews, Georgetown, northwestern Georgetown County and the Waccamaw Neck.
The recreation plans are based on the needs of the community, Hemingway said. He said a consulting firm was brought in on the project early on, and based on resident input and population growth projections, it came up with an idea of what each area would need.
The parks will be built in phases. Proposed changes in the first phase of construction and their locations are:
Andrews Regional Recreation Center
Six tennis courts, a pool and a large multipurpose field will be built around some of the existing facilities, and around 270 parking spaces added.
Two 300-foot baseball fields, three 200-foot baseball fields, a multipurpose field and more than 100 new parking spaces.
8 Oaks Regional Park
A six-lane pool, four 300-foot baseball fields, one 350-foot baseball stadium, a skate park, four 200-foot baseball parks and six tennis courts.
Northwestern Georgetown County
Pleasant Hill Park
Four softball fields, two multipurpose fields, two tennis courts and more than 300 parking spaces.
Northwest Regional Park
An 18,000-square-foot community recreation center with a gym, a pool, two tennis courts, an expansion of the existing playground and about 200 new parking spaces.
Three baseball fields, additional parking, a picnic shelter, and a playground.
Nineteen tennis courts, one stadium-style tennis court, a dog park, four soccer fields, more than 300 new parking spaces.