Representative Chandra Dillard joined Mayor Knox White and City Councilman Ken Gibson to announce additional funding for renovations at the Nicholtown Community Center. Dillard, a fifth Generation Nicholtown resident, championed the project at the Statehouse. Her efforts resulted in an additional $2.5 million. The City of Greenville already set aside $1.8 million in its budget through the Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond.
“I have always considered it an honor to represent my constituents, whether when I was on city council or now in the Statehouse. Coming together and being an advocate at the state level, helping the city of Greenville make this project bigger and better for future generations is just amazing,” Dillard said.
“The community center can be and should be the very heart of the community for young families, retirees, everyone,” Mayor White said. “That's what we're about today.”
The existing center was built in 1977. Councilman Gibson thanked the neighborhood for its patience. “Except for this covered basketball court that we're in right now and the new playground, not much has changed. This has been one of my main priorities on council. To see it finally come to fruition is just outstanding,” Gibson said. “The neighborhood, however, has been patient making do with what they have for a long time.”
City Project Managers and Parks and Recreation leaders began engaging with the neighborhood in 2022 to receive input. Wish list items were more flexible multi-use spaces to accommodate multiple generations, as well as a variety of activities, including exercise and school programs, meetings, family gatherings and educational sessions.
“What they discovered is that Nicholtown is a community that values programs and spaces that enhance togetherness and community. Their dream community center would be a modern, welcoming place that feels safe and inviting and has abundant natural light,” Gibson said.
With the additional funds, the City’s project management team will re-engage with the neighborhood to create a facility that truly serves the community. “I want them to claim the new building and center, just like they claim this one,” Dillard said. “They love it. They use it. But we do want to make it multigenerational. We want to make it for thinking as far as technology is concerned, and it needs to live into this present age,” she added.
The Community Center upgrade is part of a larger master plan for Nicholtown. Preliminary design work is expected to begin later this month.