Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Randy Moneymaker recalls one of his first days on the job with the City of Hanahan nearly a decade ago.
City councilman Jeff Chandler ushered Moneymaker out to a wooded area across from the recreation facility. Chandler’s vision was a multi-purpose amphitheater on the waterfront that would help put Hanahan on the map. That dream has now become a reality.
Construction on the facility, part of a multi-phase project, is near complete. The Goose Creek Reservoir, a few hundred feet away, can be seen in the background.
“This has been planned for years since before I started,” said Moneymaker, Hanahan’s Executive Director for Parks and Recreation. “I’ve been with the city for nine years … I know Councilman Jeff Chandler, city council and the mayor (Minnie Caldwell-Newman) have been working on it for a while.
“It’s gone from a completely wooded area where nobody knew we were on the water to an amphitheater with the water as a backdrop. It’s a beautiful facility.”
The official ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Sept. 21 on In the Park After Dark Outdoor Movie Night. Hunger Games will be shown at 8 p.m. after the ribbon cutting.
“The city is excited about it,” Moneymaker said. “We’ve had a lot of favorable response. People that don’t know where we were located in the past know where we’re at now.
“This puts us on the map with one of the best or the best venues in the Lowcountry.”
Moneymaker said the venue will be able to accommodate 1,000 people comfortably, and that includes parking.
“We certainly want to plan bigger events throughout the year,” he added. “Our minds are racing 1,000 miles per hour with all the ideas we can come up with. Once people see it and feel it by being at one of the events, it’s going to take off.”
The amphitheater’s big kickoff will be on Saturday, Nov. 16. It will be held in conjunction with the city’s Red, White and Blue fall festival.
“It will be a very fun, festive day with the theme geared toward Veterans Day,” Moneymaker said. “We’re going to honor our veterans and make it an all-American family festival.”
The first phase of the amphitheater project is around a million dollars, Moneymaker said. He said funds were raised through a bond referendum.
“Part of the next phase of this project calls for a boat dock heading out into the reservoir,” he said. “It would be a great place for fishing tournaments or shagging on the boardwalk.”
At the heart of the movement to build the amphitheater and subsequent projects is to build on Hanahan’s identity of being a great place to live.
“Hanahan is a great, tight-knit community,” Moneymaker said. “We want to have facilities that draw people from the Lowcountry to us instead of us going to them. We want to show off what we have. People always talk about what a great place Hanahan is to live, and it is.
“We also want to be able to provide activities for people to do in Hanahan.”