NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – The $5 million dollar Riverview Park expansion project could be finished by the end of the year.
Every summer, the activity center hosts one of the largest basketball tournaments in the nation.
The Nike Peach Jam brings more than 7,000 people to North Augusta and millions of dollars to the CSRA.
The new additions have taken away from parking, so for upcoming events space will be tight, but the 2 new gyms are a big incentive for Nike to grow the tournament.
Riverview Park is under construction, but the people who frequent the popular activity center don’t mind.
“Eventually I think it’s going to be a good thing. In the next 5 years,” said one North Augusta resident.
“It’s going to be nice, I think. When they get done with it,” David Freebern told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “It’s good for the community.”
The space, in front of the facility, will be turned into a brand new entrance with 2 new gyms, a new front desk and concessions area.
“One of the unique things is the bridge we are standing on will be glassed in to connect the two facilities,” North Augusta Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Rick Meyer said. “So this gives us even more space for folks to hang around in between games.”
Parks and Rec. Director Rick Meyer says every year it seems all the events continue to grow, attracting bigger crowds to Riverview Park.
While it’s a good problem to have, the facility needed to be upgraded.
Right now, the plan is to have the main entrance finished by the time Peach Jam comes around in July.
However, visitors don’t need to worry because the construction won’t impact the tournament at all.
“The gyms themselves will not be ready and we’re not programming this years Peach Jam, with that in mind.” Meyer said. “Now in 2018, I look for Nike to possibly add the 15-year-olds to the tournament when we add 2 more gyms.”
Meyer says overflow parking will be in the green areas around the facility for now, but 28 new spots will go in front of the new entrance.
Still, limited parking is a small price to pay for a bigger recreation center.
“Is it causing you an inconvenience right now?” Asked WJBF NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.
“Well yea. I don’t have my regular parking space, but that’s alright. I can live with that.” Freebern said.
North Augusta city leaders are aiming to complete the renovations by December 2018.
The project is funded through Capital Project Sales Tax.
Meyer says he hope in the future to add 2 more gyms, in addition to the ones being built now.
The city is also investing money into completely redoing the tennis courts on Buena Vista Ave. across from North Augusta Public Safety.