MONCKS CORNER -- Town officials expects to get a grant to build a paved trail through the planned recreation complex.
The 2-mile asphalt and concrete trail will connect students at Berkeley Middle School with the ball fields and other amenities planned there, Town Administrator Marc Hehn said.
The recreation complex will cover 50 acres between North Live Oak Street on the north, East Main Street on the south, U.S. Highway 52 on the east and the railroad tracks on the west.
The trail will go from the school on North Live Oak Street to Delta Pharmacy on East Main Street.
The town applied for a $622,725 Rural Transportation Enhancement Program grant. The S.C. Department of Transportation administers the federal money that includes bicycle and walking trails.
DOT Assistant Chief Planning Engineer Brian Keys said he expected the grants to be awarded and sees no reason why Moncks Corner should not get its request.
DOT would design the trail and get the necessary permits, Hehn said. He expects the process to take about 18 months.
The trail is part of the recreation complex's first phase, which is projected to open summer 2012. The first phase also includes four baseball fields around a concession stand and two football or soccer fields.
Work on the ball fields is expected to start this summer.
Future plans include a building with exercise equipment and a basketball court. A timeline for those facilities has not been announced.
The town bought the land in October. The money for the land and the first phase comes from a $7.1 million bond issue that will be repaid from the town's 2 percent hospitality tax.
Hundreds of volunteers spent weekends cleaning up debris from a lumber mill that used to be there. The concrete will be broken up and laid down to cover the parking areas.
Residents have been talking about the need for a downtown recreation center for years. Besides providing recreation, officials hope the complex brings some new life to Main Street, the town's historic center. For instance, the ball fields could lead to tournaments, such as those that draw thousands to Summerville's sports complex off Gahagan Road.