Board Decision Regarding Family Use of Sandcastle Heated Pool

Last week, KICA opened a pool reservation session for families to enjoy the Sandcastle’s newly-heated pool during the off-season. During warmer months, this pool is reserved for those 21 and older, and the unheated family pool is open to all. There are no plans to change this approach during the warmer months.

Since making this change last week, we’ve heard from many members. As a result, the board met Wednesday to consider feedback and review options for the rest of the season. Given that the entire membership funded both the construction and heating of the pool through accumulated operating surpluses, the majority of the KICA board felt it only fair all member families have an opportunity to enjoy it during this shoulder season. The board voted 5-2 to allow family usage but modified the family session at the heated pool.

Effective Sunday, October 18, family access will be permitted between the hours of 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., instead of the original late afternoon happy hour session, and, consistent with established rules at the family pool, only toilet-trained children are permitted. The other swim sessions in the heated pool will remain restricted to those 21 and older.

The pool is anticipated to be heated through Thanksgiving. Before heating begins again in the spring, the board will survey the membership about this issue and will use the data collected to revisit its decision.


Outdoor Fitness Classes Launch and Personal Training Resumes at The Sandcastle

The Sandcastle is now accepting one-on-one personal training appointments with our certified fitness trainers. Resume your fitness routine with guided instruction in a controlled sanitary environment. Contact sandcastle@kica.us for rates and to schedule your session.

Weather permitting, several outdoor fitness classes will begin next Monday, Oct. 5 on the pool deck, or in the heated oceanfront pool. Classes scheduled for next week include: Total Body Toning, Core & More, Water Aerobics, Yoga Flow, Interval Training, and Gentle Yoga.

Reservations are required, using the same CourtReserve system for the pool reservations. Face masks must be worn for check-in and leaving The Sandcastle, but will not be required during the exercise due to the outdoor environment and distancing. Please bring your own mat, water bottle and towel for all classes (no mat required for water aerobics).

At this time, The Sandcastle’s fitness center remains closed to general use. The Medical University of South Carolina provided an inspection of the facility and recommended the fitness center should remain closed to group activity due to the size of the rooms.

Outdoor Fitness Class Schedule

7:15 – Total Body Toning – Michelle
9:00 – Core & More – Susan
10:15 – Water Aerobics – Susan

9:00 – Yoga Flow – Calista
10:15 – Water Aerobics – Kelly

9:15 – Interval Training – Melissa
10:15 – Water Aerobics – Melsissa

9:00 – Gentle Yoga – Barbara
10:15 – Water Aerobics – Cherie

9:30 – Core & More – Michelle
10:15 – Water Aerobics – Kelly

9:00 – Yoga Flow – Barbara
10:15 – Water Aerobics – Cherie



Transportation Service Temporarily Suspended

KICA’s shuttle transportation service has been temporarily suspended due to staffing challenges related to COVID-19. The association will notify the community when this service resumes.


Castle Grille and Sandbar Temporarily Closed

Cru Catering, KICA’s partner operator of the Castle Grille and Sandbar, has decided to close food and beverage operations at The Sandcastle for the coming week. An employee in the wider catering company has tested positive for COVID-19 and this employee has interacted with some Castle Grille employees at the base facility in North Charleston. Out of an abundance of caution, Cru immediately shut down all operations for the week, including the Castle Grille and Sandbar. KICA will update the community when a reopening is determined.

We thank Cru Catering for immediately notifying us and for making the tough decision to impact their business by closing, for the protection of our members and their staff. We look forward to Cru’s future return.

In the meantime, please feel free to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy at the pool. As a reminder, state regulations prohibit the use of glass at the pool. The Sandcastle continues to sanitize all pool lounge chairs and restrooms in between each pool session.

Pool reservations may be made online at kica.us/sandcastle. Today, a fourth pool session was added, opening over 360 daily reservations. Please adhere to one reservation per household per day, so that your neighbors also have the chance to enjoy the pool amenities.


Make Your Pool Reservation

In the first phase of The Sandcastle’s reopening, we welcome back members to enjoy the pools, with advance reservations. Learn about the reopening here. Make your pool reservation at kica.us/sandcastle.


Using The Sandcastle Amenities with Your Wellbeing in Mind

Members are now welcome back to The Sandcastle in accordance with the governmental guidelines. This limited opening is Phase 1 of a three-phased approach. Prior to reopening, KICA engaged health experts from the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) re|IGNITE team to evaluate association facilities. The MUSC team provided KICA with recommendations for a phased reopening in alignment with the CDC, DHEC and accelerateSC plans. While Phase 1 is the most restrictive, it is critical for moving forward with amenities access. We ask for your patience and understanding as we create a safe but welcoming environment for you.

General Sandcastle Information

The Sandcastle is a second home for many of our members and we are taking every precaution to ensure the well-being of our members and staff. The Sandcastle has been deep-cleaned and sanitized. Multiple sanitation cleanings take place daily to ensure safe and comfortable environments. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the building, and is clearly marked. Staff members providing services to members are utilizing face masks and/or social distancing, and KICA’s safety coordinator is temporarily stationed at The Sandcastle to oversee the precautions that have been put into place. Members are not required to wear masks, but masks can protect against COVID-19, and help prevent the spread. Although these health precautions have been implemented, members entering The Sandcastle must assume the responsibility for their own health, and must abide by social distancing guidelines to protect others.

The amenities in Phase 1 of The Sandcastle’s reopening include the pools, the Castle Grille and the Sandbar. Use of the pools requires advanced reservations. The Castle Grille is offering take-out only options to pool guests, with the option of online ordering and payment. The Sandbar allows walk-up ordering with no seating at the bar.

No members will be permitted to use The Sandcastle without a reservation. In Phase 1, member guests are not permitted, fitness classes and the strength and cardio room are closed, no events or group meetings are taking place, and the upstairs lounge, meeting rooms and veranda are closed. All members must check-in at the lobby. Pool gates are locked, and therefore there is no access to the beach at Boardwalk 8A. Boardwalk 8B, to the left of The Sandcastle from the parking lot, can be used to access the beach. The Sandcastle will not be able to accomodate beachgoers seeking to use the facility’s restrooms.

Phase 1: Available Amenities & Services

The Sandcastle pools are open in Phase 1 with modified procedures. Advanced reservations are required for use. There are pool sessions daily, with lounge chair and common surface cleaning preceding each session.


7-8 a.m. Lap Swim – Family Pool
8-9 a.m. Lap Swim – Family Pool
9-11 a.m. Open Swim – Family and Adult Pools
11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Open Swim – Family and Adult Pools
3-6 p.m. Open Swim – Family and Adult Pools

Reservations may be made up to 48 hours in advance. Only one reservation per household may be made per day. Reservations may be made for up to 6 household members.

In accordance with DHEC guidelines, the Family Pool has an occupancy limit of 85 members and the Oceanfront Pool has an occupancy limit of 35 members. Reservations may be made online at kica.us/sandcastle. Instructions on how to use the reservation platform are also available there.

Check-in for the pool takes place in The Sandcastle lobby. There is no access to the pools or beach through the pool gates. When you check in, you will need to provide the names of each household member in your reservation and a staff member will confirm your time slot without contact. Lounge chairs are appropriately spaced to allow for social distancing and are sanitized between pool sessions. Pool toys and floats are prohibited to maintain a sanitary environment. No glass is permitted in the pool area. When using the pool, please maintain a respectful distance of at least six feet between other community members.

The restrooms at the family and oceanfront pools are open for the use of members at each pool. Restrooms are cleaned and sanitized before each reservation session.

The Castle Grille is open, offering a limited to-go menu from 12-5 p.m. Orders and payment may be made online — visit kica.us/sandcastle for the link. Orders may also be placed at the service window. Only credit card payments will be accepted. The Sandbar at the oceanfront adult pool is open for walk-up drink service from 12-6 p.m. Credit card payments will be accepted and there will be no bar seating at this time. Charge-on-account is not available. If you’re not at the pool, you can place a to go order and pick up at the pool entry gate.

Limited member services are offered at The Sandcastle during Phase 1. Members are encouraged to email sandcastle@kica.us for more information.

Phase 1: Unavailable Amenities & Services

Based on the MUSC health experts’ recommendations, the strength and cardio fitness room is closed in Phase 1 due to the confined space. No fitness classes are being offered. Online workouts with Sandcastle instructors are available here.

The Sandcastle is closed to club meetings, group activities and private events in Phase 1. The upstairs meeting rooms and restrooms are closed.

The Sandcastle’s upstairs lounge area and outside veranda are closed in Phase 1.

Due to sanitation concerns, the outdoor playground in the pool area is closed in Phase 1.

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you back to The Sandcastle, even on this limited basis, and ask for your patience as we all navigate this unprecedented situation. Phase 1 is a learning phase and changes may occur as we find out what works. We’ll communicate any changes, including our plans for moving into phases 2 and 3, in our weekly email newsletters.


Get Your Sandcastle Workout Virtually

It’s a stressful time and we know nothing combats stress better than a good workout. Now, you can workout with Sandcastle fitness instructors from the comfort of home, at a time that is most convenient for you.


NEW! Tai Chi
NEW! Core Fusion
Sandcastle Cardio Mix
Sandcastle Core Mix
Gentle Yoga
Dance Fitness
Barre Sculpt
HI Tempo
Tone & Tighten
Weekend Workout

Try one today and maintain your fitness routine virtually!


Sandcastle Improvement Project Member Survey Results

In January, community members were asked to share their direct input with the board in regards to three potential improvement projects at The Sandcastle.

The Project Options:


This pool is 17 meters by 10 meters. The intent would be to extend the swimming season, but not year around. Depending on weather, we anticipate this to be approximately April 1st until Thanksgiving.


Upgrade the furniture around the family pool to reflect the quality and comfort of the furniture around the new oceanfront pool, including more chairs and additional umbrellas to provide more shade.


Replace the wooden deck around the Castle Grille with the same IPE decking that surrounds the new pool and other deck areas that were a part of the renovation. The current decking is a lower grade pressure-treated pine. This potential project is re-decking only with no increase in size or shape of the deck.

Over 1,000 community members shared their preference, ranking the projects from most beneficial (#1) to least beneficial (#3).

The Results:

Survey Results


Welcome to the Newly-Renovated Sandcastle

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After eight months of renovations, The Sandcastle is welcoming members back. Stop by to have a dip in the beautiful oceanfront pool or the refreshed family pool, take a fitness class with an ocean view, or enjoy a relaxing beverage at the new bar. The Castle Grille and Sandbar are serving delicious food and beachy beverages by Cru Catering.

While the majority of the facility is open, a few components will have a phased opening:

– The new bath house adjacent to the adult pool will remain under construction for at least a more weeks. The bath house at the family pool will be open.

– Boardwalk 8B will remain closed until the bath house construction is complete. Boardwalk 8A is open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate The Sandcastle’s official grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.


Boardwalk Policy Update for High Density Areas

During Hurricane Matthew, KICA received damage to 23 of its 25 boardwalks. Our general maintenance team was able to get some of these boardwalks re-opened with minor repairs. The timeline for boardwalks requiring extensive repairs is somewhat longer, though all involved have been extremely cooperative in order to expedite this important work.

KICA uses a consulting structural engineer to ensure what we build is safe and will withstand many years of “normal” wear and tear. Once that work is complete, it then goes through the approval process with the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and the Town of Kiawah Island (TOKI). This ensures TOKI’s ordinances are followed, as well as the regulations imposed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (SC DHEC-OCRM).

Current Status

We initially placed the priority on boardwalks in the area of Eugenia Avenue to Windswept, as this was an area where KICA had no open boardwalks.

– As of Feb. 15, KICA has completed construction on boardwalks 8A, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
– We just received approvals on 7, 10, 29, 31 and 33, and are proceeding to contract shortly.
– Our other boardwalks remain in design.

KICA has been and will continue to send weekly updates on its boardwalk repairs in the Thursday email update to the membership. (Access the Beach With Safety)

Policies and Regulations

In building the beach boardwalks, KICA adheres to design regulations specified by the ARB, TOKI and SC DHEC-OCRM. To comply with these regulations, boardwalks must meet the beach perpendicular to the shore and within 10 feet of the primary dune. In the five years preceding the storm, we had rebuilt 22 of our boardwalks (approx. $1 million) and were fortunate that significant accretion of the beach resulted in a dune profile suitable for ramps in most locations. Unfortunately, those dunes are gone – along with the bulk of the previous five years’ investment. This loss has necessitated we use steps as a repair solution in many locations.

We are not permitted, under normal regulations, to run a boardwalk parallel to the shore and dune line, and must seek an exception for this type of construction. Our preference is to build ramps perpendicular to the shore where the dune profile accommodates this type of design; however, Hurricane Matthew has caused us to consider new guidelines that provide an objective way to determine where exceptions should be considered.

One of those new guidelines considers the density of property located near a boardwalk. Areas where larger than average numbers of KICA member properties are concentrated in close proximity will be given extra consideration for ramps. This will result in our applying for ramps at boardwalks 8B, 22, and 27.  As the map image below indicates, these are high density areas and we believe exceptions are warranted:

High Density Boardwalk Locations