In D.J. Swearinger’s quest to revitalize the old Seaboard Recreation Center, the Greenwood High graduate turned NFL player plans to use property behind the crumbling complex.
Greenwood City Council will hear comments about the lease agreement tonight at a public hearing during a special called meeting.
Swearinger purchased the building at 420 Seaboard Ave. from Kingdom Works Ministries for $33,000 in January. He intends to build a community center where the once-popular Seaboard Rec is located.
“I chose to come here because I love my city,” Swearinger said in a video posted online by the 2 Spoonz Foundation. “I love what I’m doing, I love giving back.”
The city owns the property directly behind the Center and the agreement would allow Swearinger to use the city’s property for his project.
The center, also known as the R.L. Stevens Center, has been closed since 2009 when the county-owned building fell into disrepair requiring $500,000 to fix. The popular swimming pool at the center was barred from opening in summer 2009 after a fire department inspection found several code violations.
Greenwood County Council conducted public meetings to hear ideas about what to do with the property. After considering public input, council deeded the property to the Rev. Darlene Saxon of Kingdom Works Ministries in summer 2010 to build a new center called Beyond the Walls Family Restoration Center.
For the past 11 years, little progress was seen on the new center.
Swearinger is not the only Greenwood native-turned NFL star to give back to his hometown. Josh Norman, a Greenwood High teammate of Swearinger and a free agent defensive back in the NFL, recently opened the Starz24 Josh Norman Teen Center. Norman cited the loss of the Seaboard Rec Center, which he spent time at as a youth, as a reason to give back.
Swearinger recently hosted a fundraiser for the D.J. Swearinger Center in Columbia in April. According to The Swearinger Center’s page on Our Mayberry, a fundraising platform, the project has raised more than $75,000 to date.
City Council will also receive a presentation from Manley Garvin on its 2020 audit as well as a presentation Davis and Floyd on plans for Magnolia Park and Foundry Park as part of the 2016 Capital Project Sales Tax.
In addition, council will consider authorizing the acquisition of nearly 2 acres owned by Norfolk Southern Railway at 1911 S. Main St.
The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the City of Greenwood Municipal Building.