The Recreation Advisory Board selected a plan for the new gymnasium at Sweetwater Park at a meeting Dec. 15.
The board unanimously selected Plan D with slight modifications. Board members liked plan D, with 22,347 square feet and two basketball courts, but wanted the option of additional fold-out bleacher seating.
With the extra seating, 924 spectators could watch a game, which would be played on a grid centered across both basketball courts, said Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation Director Bob Howard.
The plan, one of four being considered, was created by the Facility Group, a firm hired to design and implement the gym construction. The board will work with the firm on the requested additional bleacher seating and hammer out a mutually agreeable plan which would be within the $2 million budget. Once the details are set, the board will present the plan to the county commission for its approval.
"This facility is well overdue," Mr. Howard said. The new gym will boost enrollment in recreation programs, Board members agreed.
Participation in basketball "will go up to 600 when we have more court space," Mr. Howard predicted. Presently, participation is limited to 500 or fewer due to limited court space.
When the new gym is built, other programs will expand as well such as gymnastics and cheerleading.