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The humming sound of machinery behind Orangeburg Preparatory School's North Road campus has been fairly steady for months as crews continue work to build Orangeburg's recreational complex.

The anticipated completion and opening of the complex is targeted for the middle of May contingent on any further weather delays, according to Orangeburg City Administrator John Yow.

"The adverse weather from about November has set it back some," Yow said. "They are making good progress."

"It is looking good," he continued. "I think it will be a project the community is proud of, and I hope people take advantage of."

The approximately $17 to $18 million complex will have two clusters of baseball and softball fields, restrooms, walking and biking trails, picnic tables, playground equipment and open green space.

The recreation complex will also include more than 500 parking spaces.

Currently, Yow said the parking lots and roadwork are under construction.

"Both press boxes and concession stands are under construction," he said. "One is about 80 percent complete."

Yow said the LED lights for the ball fields are up with some electrical work for the parking lots and roadways underway.

He said the project is right in line with the budget.

Ground was broken on the complex in February 2018.

Peak, S.C.-based Edcon was awarded the $15.1 million contract. Irmo-based Coogler Construction Co. Inc. is the largest subcontractor.

In August 2018, council purchased about 19 acres from the YMCA of Columbia. The land was situated in the middle of property the city currently owns. The total project will occupy 133 acres when complete. When the additional acres are developed, the city estimates the entire project cost to reach about $20 million.

About $12 million has been allocated toward the project from the first three rounds of Orangeburg County’s capital projects sales tax. An additional $200,000 from the fourth round will be used for the complex and traffic control.

The city also needed to borrow about $4 million. The bond will be paid with accommodations and hospitality tax revenue, not property taxes.

The recreational complex is coming together after many years of discussion and planning.

The complex has been touted as an ideal site for collegiate tournaments as well as softball and baseball tournaments.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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