Healthy living got a boost in the Goose Creek area this month with the opening of a new activity center.
The 35,000-square-foot facility is connected to the existing community center at the Goose Creek Recreation Complex at 519A Goose Creek Blvd.
“It offers us a lot more room to offer a lot more programs,” said city Recreation Director TJ Rostin.
The $11.5 million project features aerobics and fitness rooms, preschool classrooms and a 9,000-square-foot gymnastics center that has been hailed as one of the best in the region. It offers several balance beams, rings, uneven bars and floor exercise mats.
The community center, which opened in 2005, has a fitness center and basketball courts.
The facility’s benefits will reach beyond city limits, said Mayor Greg Habib.
"This facility will impact more than just Goose Creek," he said. "As the premier gymnastics facility in the state, it is our goal that this facility impacts our economy and the economy of the region."
More than 400 youngsters participate in the city’s gymnastics program, and the new facility offers room to expand, Rostin said. The city offers classes for children as young as 18 months.
“We now have an area where these kids can train like they need to and like they want to, and I think that’s going to make a positive impact,” Rostin said.
The gym offers seating for parents who want to watch their children’s workouts, and, for the first time, allows the ability for Goose Creek to host gymnastics meets. Officials are hoping to hold their first event in early 2019.
The facility replaces the aging Casey Community Center on Old Moncks Corner Road. That center closed when the preschool program ended earlier in May.
“We now have a lot more room to offer a lot more programs,” Rostin said. The Recreation Department plans to add fitness classes, specialty classes such as karate and dance, and expand its offerings for seniors.
"Our new activity center illustrates our commitment to recreation opportunities for all," Habib said. "We now have the space to program comprehensively for our seniors as well as our special needs citizens."
The complex was renamed this month in honor of longtime former Mayor Michael Heitzler.
Goose Creek Council voted May 8, the first meeting led by newly elected Habib, to rename the Goose Creek Recreation Complex for Heitzler, who led the city for four decades. A ceremony was held May 18.