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Camp Greenville donors break ground on $14M project

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Staff Report
Published Nov. 12, 2015

YMCA Camp Greenville donors joined in breaking ground on the first phase of a $14 million “Heart of Camp” capital development project at the 1,400-acre mountaintop retreat that annually plays host to thousands of children. The project includes construction of new water and sewer systems, a welcome center and office, a Greenville Health System Health Hut, guest house, nature center, swimming area, skeet shooting arena and renovation of the Rotary Lodge.

Greenville YMCA Facility Development director Bill Barringer said after the Thursday groundbreaking that work is expected to start by year end, with Harper Corp. as lead contractor.

A view of the grounds at YMCA Camp Greenville in the Cleveland community in Greenville County. (Photo by Bill Poovey)
A view of the grounds at YMCA Camp Greenville in the Cleveland community in Greenville County. (Photo by Bill Poovey)

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Design South Professionals Inc. in Anderson is handling engineering for an Orenco AdvanTex wastewater treatment system. Design South engineer Joe Greenburg said the mountaintop camp now has septic tanks and the new system pumps wastewater to a new above-ground station that treats the effluent with an engineered textile media before it is discharged in a drain field.

“It is a lot more environmentally friendly,” Greenburg said.

Other planned construction includes a plaza commons, adventure cabins across the lake, a program treehouse and an activity center.

Barringer said the three-phase project will probably be completed “over the next five to 10 years.”

The camp was started in 1912 and Steve Timmons, capital campaign chairman, said in a statement that his family “has personally benefited from our relationship with the Y and from time spent at Camp Greenville over many years.”

“We personally invested in Camp Greenville because it is the perfect place for youth and families to come for life-changing experiences, and we want to share this great property and the YMCA’s values with future generations.”

Jamie Inman, the YMCA’s vice president of association development, said $5.1 million has been raised in the “Heart of Camp” campaign and the goal is to have $7 million by year end.

“We will be able to serve at least 3,000 more children each year,” Inman said, increasing its annual capacity by about 25%.

“In the summers we have anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 kids who come up for that week of summer camp. We will be able to serve more children in that regard. And then, during the fall and spring, we serve anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 children who come up for environmental education, pioneering skills, team building. Today we have about 250 kids on campus with a variety of environmental education programs.”

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