CLOVER — The town of Clover is offering an opportunity for residents, businesses and local churches and groups to invest in the future of its New Centre Park.
Individuals and groups can purchase engraved bricks or invest in a variety of sponsorships, ranging from a $250 bronze-level “donor tree” to $10,000 for naming rights to a lighted soccer field.
Recreation director Greg Holmes said the sponsorships will help the town develop the park sooner, while offering residents and groups the opportunity to have a long-term presence there. The town last month dedicated the first phase of the park, but other improvements are planned.
He said the recreation staff looked at what other area communities have done in offering sponsorship opportunities for recreation facilities. He said they borrowed some of the most popular ideas.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Clover Mayor Donnie Grice said last week, after the Town Council approved the sponsorships. “It’s an opportunity for the community to be a part of and involved with it.”
Holmes said the town has already begun selling engraved bricks to raise money for capital improvements. The cost is $125 for a 4-by-8-inch brick with up to three lines of text and 14 characters per line.
Bricks, to be laid near the park entrance, can include the buyer’s name and/or business name or be purchased in honor of a loved one or as a memorial. Holmes said leaders are trying to complete the first round of brick sales by the end of this month.
Town Manager Allison Harvey said she expects the engraved bricks to be the most popular sponsorship, “but there are lots of other ways for commercial and religious and charitable and civic organizations to be involved, to have a name associated with it.”
Other sponsor opportunities are:
• A two-dimensional, cast metal donor tree, to be displayed on the brick wall at the park entrance, offering a visible, artistic welcome. Three levels of sponsorship are available, depicted by the color of a leaf on the tree. Sponsorship includes an engraved name for the leaf. They are bronze leaf, $250; silver leaf, $500; and gold leaf, $1,000.
• Four entrance trees, planted in front of the concession stand. Sponsorships are $2,500 per tree, or $500 per year for five years. Sponsorship includes a plaque at the base of the tree, first renewal rights after five years and inclusion in photos and publications about the park.
• A concession stand sponsorship, for $5,000 or $1,000 per year for five years. It would include a name on a plaque on the stand, first renewal rights after five years and the sponsor’s name on literature about the stand.
• A covered pavilion sponsorship, at $10,000 to $2,000 a year for five years. Sponsorship includes a name on a plaque over the entrance, first renewal rights after five years and the sponsor’s name on literature about the pavilion.
• A soccer field sponsorship, at $10,000 per field for three lighted fields, or $2,000 a year for five years. Cost would be $8,000 for the one unlit field, or $1,600 per year for five years. Sponsorship includes naming rights for the field, including a sign on the field and a plaque on the concession stand, renewal rights and the sponsor’s name on publications.
Holmes and Harvey said plans for a full phase two development have not been determined. But Harvey said the town will be spending money this year on some finishing touches, including fencing, bleachers and entrance signs.
The town also plans to address some drainage issues, do some beautification on the road frontage and create some overflow parking, she said. Some of that work “will put us in a better position to move on to a full phase two,” she said.
The town last month dedicated the first phase of the park, which cost about $1.7 million and includes three lighted soccer fields and one unlighted field, a brick concession stand, public restrooms and parking.
Plans for future phases of the park include a splash pad, amphitheater, walking trails, picnic shelters, outdoor basketball, sand volleyball and tennis courts, a disc golf course and a “miracle field,” which is a special type of baseball field for people with disabilities.
Harvey said some soil samples are being done to make sure future park plans are feasible. She also said the town has some grant money through the Healthy South Carolina Initiative to develop plans for walking trails.
Plans for the trails are expected to be finished this month, she said. “It will be our guide to future development of trails on the property and also on the school district property between New Centre Park and the school district office,” she said.
Harvey said it make take some time for businesses and groups to take advantage of the larger sponsorships because of the amount of money involved. “But hopefully it will be something some of our local businesses and organizations will put into their planning.”
She added: “I do think the public will embrace the brick purchase. It’s almost like a forever thing. We won’t be leaving that park for a very long time. I think it would make an amazing gift or a memoriam for someone.”
Order forms for the bricks are available at www.cloversc.org, at Town Hall and at the Clover Community Center.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077