By Katy Calloway, The Island Eye News Managing Editor
The sun was shining on the Isle of Palms Exchange Club as members of the Waterfront Improvement Committee gathered to sign the contract with Carolina Marine & Dock to begin construction on the Waterfront Improvement Project.
Club President, Barby Harrington grinned as she signed the commitment to realizing the Club’s much anticipated, public waterfront access project.
“The biggest focus is on water access,” explains Harrington, “that is our biggest give back to the community, and that will be achieved through the first phase of construction.”
Carolina Dock & Marine is scheduled to start construction on July 8.
The funding has been secured for phase I of the project, which will include a seawall that extends just beyond the length of the building, as well as the pier and pierhead, and pilings for the dock. Additional funds are still needed to complete the floating dock (phase II) and phase III & IV which Harrington envisions as being the park-like setting along the shoreline, with universal access to picnic tables and benches.
The IOP Exchange Club is continuing to solicit donations for the project and has reenergized its efforts with the help of Waterfront Improvement Committee members Chad Woods and Joe Bergstrom. The pair has developed a new website and will bring renewed enthusiasm to the ongoing efforts.
The pier, scheduled to be completed in early fall, has already begun booking visiting groups, starting with the Lonan Foundation whose mission is to help children affected by their parent or caregiver’s cancer diagnosis find comfort, heal and grow from their shared experiences. A long-term collaborator with the IOP Exchange Club, the Lonan Foundation has been using the current facility to facilitate group programs.
The Club’s new construction will help them deliver on their four pillars of service, which include community, youth, Americanism and the prevention of child abuse. To donate to the Waterfront Improvement Project visit DonateToTheDockIOP.com.