Clover leaders hope to turn armory into community center

scetrone@heraldonline.comJanuary 7, 2013 

Clover town leaders want to turn an empty National Guard Armory into a community center that would bring residents together for events and offer recreational programs.

State Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York, has submitted a resolution requesting that ownership of the armory be transferred to Clover.

If the resolution passes the Legislature and receives Gov. Nikki Haley’s approval, it will be up to the National Guard and the state budget and control board to sign off, Pope said.

“It seemed like a good, positive use for the community,” he said.

South Carolina National Guard officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

Town officials haven’t drawn up a timeline or budget for renovations yet, but Clover town manager Allison Harvey said she envisions a place for community events and sports like basketball and volleyball.

The armory, which closed about a year ago, was once a gathering place in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I remember socials, dances ... many things,” Harvey said. “It was really open to the community. Our interest in obtaining it is returning it to the community.”

Though the Clover school district opens its doors for athletic and performance events, the town doesn’t have a community center.

There’s also space at the armory to hold meetings and store vehicles and equipment, Harvey said.

The town wouldn’t have to pay to take ownership of the armory. Officials have not yet assessed the property to gauge the cost of repairs and renovations.

Clover leaders have talked about their plans for more than a year, Harvey said.

Pope said he submitted his resolution after hearing from Harvey and checking with the National Guard.

“Clover had a need and the National Guard doesn’t,” he said. For the town, “it’s an opportunity that would be cost-prohibitive otherwise. The thing I like about it is it’s almost like recycling.”

Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072

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