Each day brings Jo-Anne Newman closer to seeing the fulfillment of a longtime dream shared by many boxing enthusiasts in the North Augusta area.
"Our dream has always been to have a permanent home for Olympic-style boxing in North Augusta," Mrs. Newman said. She and her husband, Noah, founded the North Augusta Boxing Club about 18 years ago.
The couple has been raising money for a new boxing club for about nine years, waiting until they had enough to meet initial building costs.
About two weeks ago, construction began on the 6,000-square-foot Knox Center on Augusta Road in Burnettown that will house the boxing club.
The building has been designed like a gym, with showers and additional space to expand programs, Mrs. Newman said.
The boxing club has raised more than $250,000, with the Peter S. Knox Foundation being one of the group's main supporters.
Other businesses have also given their support to the project, Mrs. Newman said. The contractor, R.D. Brown Construction, is erecting the building at cost, she said.
Even so, more money is needed to finish the interior work, said Mrs. Newman, who is hoping for about $50,000 in additional donations to complete the project. Construction should be finished around January, she was told.
More than 50 children between the ages of 8 and 18 are involved with the North Augusta Boxing Club, Mrs. Newman said. In addition to athletic activities, the club helps its boxers with their school work.
The club has been renting a building on U.S. Highway 1 in Langley for many years, but at 4,800 square feet, that facility was inadequate, Mrs. Newman said.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.