Residents, students benefit from rowing site

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 19, 2014 

The Community Rowing and Sailing Center (CRSC) will serve, not shortchange, the public.

The Town of Hilton Head Island bought 1.5 acres of land to prevent development and offered it as a site for the high school rowing and sailing programs and later bought five contiguous acres for the same reason. During the planning phase, the town most-appropriately decided to expand it into a town park for residents.

The majority of the costs are for the park amenities, not the CRSC. For example, a handicap-compliant fishing and crabbing pier costs significantly more than the $100,000 cost for a suitable rowing dock.

During the past five years, 171 sailors and 236 rowers -- all high school men and women -- have learned to row, sail and compete. Students from five local high schools participate at no cost to the schools. These club programs are becoming increasingly popular around the country and provide scholarship opportunities. Upon completion of the CRSC, these programs will expand for both students and town residents.

These programs are volunteer-led and are 100 percent supported by fundraising activities. They also have full support of parents. About $100,000 in equipment will be contributed to the CRSC facility. And volunteers remain committed to raising the balance of money to finish the facility.

In summary, the CRSC is a solid investment for our students, residents, and probably tourists.

David Erdman

Hilton Head Island

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