Rev. Steven L. Evans, a Clinton pastor, is taking on the job of bringing the former Martha Dendy School back to life.
As part of a State of the City address Monday night, Clinton City Manager Bill Ed Cannon recognized Evans, who explained the re-development process. The city has torn out the pool from Martha Dendy, and while a National Night Out was held at the campus, little else has been done at the proposed community center site.
Evans said he will release a Request for Qualifications on Aug. 20. This document will be for groups and individuals who think they can partner with Martha Dendy community center for the next 5-10 years. Evans also will seek funding sources; he plans to work with a community-based committee to determine what programs are needed for a community center.
After that process, Requests for Proposals will be issued, and these will detail the nuts and bolts of redesign and redevelopment. People in the Martha Dendy neighborhood have said for years that there needs to be more for young people to do within the community.
Cannon also informed council that he has made an offer for land on which the city can construct a recreation complex.
Not just for sports, the complex is envisioned with an amphitheater and indoor space for activities. The city has hospitality tax money to build a complex, but no dedicated funding stream to maintain it.
The Clinton Family YMCA will be asked to construct a “splash pad” for children on the recreation site. The city also is envisioning a Farmer’s Market-style building at Vance Park, behind the M.S. Bailey Municipal Center.
Cannon reported Greenville Health System is partnering with an effort to construct a branch of the Swamp Rabbit Trail from the hospital to Richloom, but said the proposed Millers Fork Trail (off Hwy. 72 at I-26) is on hold for now because construction bids came in at $300,000, and the city has only $99,000 to put toward this trail.
Cannon discussed several other long-range projects, including possible privatization of trash collection and potential sales of Rosemont Cemetery and the former American Legion Building.
This was Cannon’s first State of the City address, and the Aug. 6 city council meeting was attended by 25 people.