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East-end activities on the grow

Community complex filling void in Midway area

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POSTED: March 9, 2014 5:00 p.m.
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The LCCC pool will open for the season on Memorial Day weekend.

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Before this year, residents of Liberty County’s east end had limited organized recreation opportunities in their neck of the woods. With the opening of the new Liberty County Community Complex on Highway 84 in Midway, many new activity options have been made available to them.
Instead of having to drive into Hinesville or elsewhere to participate in youth- and adult-recreation programs, many of these classes now are offered at the LCCC facility, said Liberty County Recreation Department Director Jimmy Martin. He added he’s glad that residents now have a facility that will meet their recreation and fitness needs in their own backyard.
“We have a very good selection of activities available at the complex, and we are hoping that the community takes advantage of what we have to offer,” he said. “We have more than a good selection, actually. I would say great."
Most of the classes are youth classes, but there is one for adults, too. Martin said that although the programs have been available since January, they did not have enough interest at first and were not able to start them right away. Since that time, however, many more participants have registered, and the LCRD is happy to announce that programs got under way March 1.
“Many of the classes still have open slots, and we hope to get those filled soon,” Martin said.
Right now, available classes include ju-jitsu, Zumba (for ages 17 and older), acrobatics, ballet, jazz dance, hip-hop dance, and beginner and intermediate piano lessons. Class times and costs vary.
For those already in the LCRD system, Martin said registration is easy and can be done online for any class. New participants will need to sign up in person to provide proof of age for the child being registered.
Sensei John Glimmerveen, LCRD ju-jitsu instructor from the Ju-Jitsu Center of Richmond Hill, teaches the LCCC class and said he would love to see more students join. Right now, he has 12, but can accommodate more by bringing in assistants to help him.
“There are many reasons why kids should get into ju-jitsu, the first being self-defense. But, most importantly, it is a great outlet for them to get exercise that they might not be getting otherwise,” he said.
Christine Dauro of Isle of Wight waited on the sidelines while her son, Nicholas, attended ju-jitsu class. She said her family enjoys the class and added that Glimmerveen is a fabulous instructor.
“We just love it. It gives the kids plenty of exercise, and they are learning at the same time,” she said.
Dauro has been impressed with the LCCC, calling it a more convenient option than having to drive to other cities for recreation.
“We were doing karate and other activities up in Richmond Hill, but we stopped because it was getting to be much too far to drive,” she said.
Dauro also said her family can hardly wait for the LCCC swimming pool to open on Memorial Day weekend. The pool area has plenty of seating and will be open from 2- 6 p.m. daily. Come May 1, registration will open for swimming lessons.
In addition to organized recreation activities, the LCCC has a children’s playground that offers swings, slides and other play equipment in a fenced in area that caters to children ages 5 to 12 years.
The pool and other areas of the LCCC facility are available to rent for parties, reunions and gatherings.  
According to Martin, if SPLOST passes later this year, it eventually would fund more improvements for the LCCC. In phase 2 of the LCCC project, plans include renovating the gymnasium and adding walking trails, a pavilion and baseball fields.
“Even if SPLOST passes, it would be several years before enough funds were generated to cover the costs for phase 2,” Martin said.

 

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