Another $50,000 donation made May 21 means Upper Palmetto YMCA now has more than $1.3 million secured for the outdoor water park at the planned Clover School District aquatic center in Lake Wylie.
On Thursday, Fred Caldwell Chevrolet added $50,000 to the project that will cost $1.7 million.
“It’s a big deal for Lake Wylie and Clover, and the school system,” Caldwell said. “Clover Community Bank led the way and we hope there will be others.”
Clover Community Bank has donated $50,000 to the project, as well as an anonymous donation of $170,000 and gifts from Carolina Ingredients, Wells Fargo and Bank of York.
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“It’s very important seeing the growth in the communities and will be great recreation for younger kids,” said Ollie Robertson, chairman of the YMCA advisory board.
The York County Council in April approved $1 million in hospitality tax for the outdoor water park. The hospitality tax money comes from a 2-percent charge on food and drink in unincorporated areas of the county, such as Lake Wylie, and must be spent on tourism-generating projects.
“It will be great exposure for us and our school system,” said Martin McKinley, general manager for Caldwell Chevrolet and YMCA board member.
The aquatic center is part of a $99 million construction plan that includes five major projects, undertaken by the school district after voters approved a $67 million bond package in spring 2014. The district had planned about $14 million for the aquatic center, including two 25-yard indoor pools and a fitness center, on S.C. 274 next to Crowders Creek Elementary School. It will be operated in partnership with the Upper Palmetto YMCA.
“I’m excited about this for a lot of reasons,” said Moe Bell, CEO of Upper Palmetto YMCA. “We have a really good partnership with Clover schools and being able to teach children to swim.”
Bell said Thursday’s event coincided with the national YMCA unveiling a new learn to swim program. When the aquatic center is open, all Clover school third-graders will learn to swim free. The YMCA does currently offer swim lessons at its facilities for a fee.
“And here we are building a (facility) that will keep kids safe in the water,” he said.
The school district also committed to build a $1.8 million Olympic-size 50-meter outdoor pool, designed for competitive events, which was not part of the bond. Superintendent Marc Sosne has said the school board plans to build it with leftover bond money or surplus capital funds.
The YMCA’s $1.7 million outdoor water park is intended to increase membership, Bell has said.
YMCA leaders have been raising donations for months. Tom Smith of Maygreen Properties of Lake Wylie also is donating $18,000.
“We are developing 60 lots and donating $600 per lot,” he said. “I hope that other developers will do the same.”
Of the $600, $300 per lot ($18,000) is earmarked to the water park, and the remaining $300 per lot ($18,000) will be held in escrow to help fund the building of proposed athletic fields in Lake Wylie.
“We are thankful for the community’s support,” said Linda McCallum, branch director of the Clover-Lake Wylie YMCA.
Erika Wells, director of marketing and membership, said a brick campaign, coordinated with the school district, is expected to launch in about a month. Cost will be about $1,000 per brick.
“This gives people a lower level to contribute,” she said. “Of course, we’re still looking to secure larger donations.”
The Clover school board on May 11 approved, a $17.8 million bid from Beam Construction Co. of Cherryville, N.C., to build the facility.
Kelly Clayton with project managing company Cumming Corp. said the center is expected to be finished by Aug. 1, 2016. The final building plans show the center fronting S.C. 274 with parking, the main entrance and pool, and water park in the back. The order to proceed on the project was received May 21, Mychal Frost, spokesman for the school district, said Friday.
Catherine Muccigrosso • 803-831-8166
Water park donors
York County Hospitality Tax: $1,000,000
Bank of York: $15,000
Carolina Ingredients: $20,000
Clover Community Bank: $50,000
Fred Caldwell Chevrolet: $50,000
Maygreen Properties: $18,000
Wells Fargo: $15,000
Current total pledged: $ 1,338,000