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Mid-August marked a special time in the Buford community.
The eastern Lancaster County area had plenty of reason to celebrate as the long-awaited Buford Recreation Center was opened.
With the opening of the Buford Rec Center, now each area in the county – Lancaster, Indian Land, Kershaw and Buford – has a rec facility.
That was the goal of the county when this project was begun and now it’s a red-letter day – well, in Buford terms, maroon-letter day – for local recreation.
The Buford center, located on Hurley Walters Road, features two gymnasiums, two program rooms and a meeting room. Outside facilities include two youth baseball fields, two adult softball fields and two soccer fields.
“It’s fantastic that we finally get one,” said Buford area resident Dennis Sistare, a veteran youth soccer coach.
For years, the Buford area has worked with its area schools in helping to provide recreation facilities. The Lancaster County School District deserves kudos for its role in assisting with recreation needs over the years. The school district’s fields and gyms in the Buford area have been a blessing to recreation.
Now Buford has a place of its own.
The land and building construction cost about $1.4 million. Funds came from a host of places – county appropriations, the county park development fund, J. Marion Sims Foundation, the Springs Close Foundation and grants from the state’s park and recreation development.
Sports available include baseball, basketball, football, soccer and T-ball. Leagues will be offered for children and adults.
More sports might be added if the community steps forward and wants more.
Longtime recreation director Jim Bull, who retired a few years back and now assists the Lancaster County Parks and Recreation Commission as a consultant, beamed the day of the center’s dedication.
“We just thoroughly pleased that we’ve achieved that objective,” Bull said.
The Buford center is slightly smaller than the Springdale Rec Center, where the Recreation Commission offices are, but the newest rec center has the most space of all the centers for programming purposes.
“It’s a really nice facility,” Sistare said.
Buford area residents have been patient in anticipation of the center’s completion.
Some probably wondered if the center would ever come to fruition.
Now, it’s reality. Obviously, the wait was worth it for a valuable addition in the Buford community.