The Sandcastle Closed For Renovations, Temporary Fitness Options Available

After more than a year of planning, The Sandcastle closed last night for a long-awaited renovation. The scope of the project includes:

-The addition of a second pool,
-A dedicated bath house,
-Relocation of the bar to provide ocean views,
-Reconfiguration of the parking lot to add spaces and improve drainage, and
-A complete remodel of the interior of the building.

With reorganization of the floor plan, space dedicated to fitness will increase by 25%, and ocean views from the first floor will be restored to the way they were when the building opened over 20 years ago. While the building is closed, additional maintenance and repairs will occur, such as replacing the roof, repainting and elevator maintenance. The budget for the renovation and repairs is approximately $4.5 million, and is being funded by existing resources.

The work is slated for substantial completion by July 3, 2018, and during the interim we have worked hard to provide alternatives for the regular programming that occurs at The Sandcastle. KICA appreciates the membership’s patience, as the logistics of finding homes for clubs and groups, as well as a variety of fitness activities, have been coordinated.

Temporary Fitness Options
Thanks to a friendly lease agreement with Kiawah Partners, a temporary fitness center will be located at 2 Beachwalker Drive, next the Kiawah General Store. KICA is currently seeking approval from the Town of Kiawah Island for the building, and as soon as a permit is issued, delivery will be scheduled. The facility will have two rooms, one for fitness equipment and the other for classes.

In the meantime, there are several fitness options available to members:

Outdoor Classes: Some regularly scheduled classes will be held outdoors at Night Heron Park and Cinder Creek, and will be taught by KICA instructors. Visit kica.us/fitness for an updated schedule.

Studio 33 (Freshfields): KICA has negotiated a reduced drop-in rate of $10 for classes at Studio 33. This new group fitness studio offers a variety of classes including yoga, Pilates, Barre and more. Owners Liz and Frank Silva opened the studio in June. Their goal is to create a self-sustainable community around health and wellness. To sign up, either visit the studio or register online.

To register online:
Visit studio33kiawah.com/schedule.
-Select a class you would like to take.
-Create your account and select the drop-in rate.
-At checkout, enter the promo code “kica” for a $10 drop-in (KICA will confirm that you are indeed a KICA member and eligible for the discount).

Kiawah Island Golf Resort: The Kiawah Island Golf Resort is offering temporary access to fitness equipment (not classes) through Dec. 31, 2017.
-$50 per family.
-Access to KIGR fitness equipment center.
-Facility is located at the Night Heron Park Nature Center.
-Fitness equipment center hours are 6 a.m. – 11 p.m., at both locations.

KICA members interested in this option may get a code/pass from the resort’s Night Heron Park Nature Center, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

19 Miles of Leisure Trails and 10 Miles of Beach: Island owners and guests routinely say the best part of their experience is walking, running or biking the leisure trails and beach. If it’s been a while since you’ve availed yourself of Kiawah’s natural splendor, perhaps this is a great time to rediscover these valuable community assets.

The Sandcastle Pool
The pool is now closed, along with the entire facility, parking lot and boardwalk 8A. Boardwalk 8B is open; however, there is no parking available. As construction progresses, KICA will work with its contractor to determine whether a phased reopening of the facilities is possible. With significant work occurring around the entire site, members should expect the possibility that The Sandcastle pool will be closed for the duration of the project.

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort has again offered assistance to KICA members. Details are still being finalized, but the resort will offer pool-only memberships next spring, from the time the pools open until June 30. This membership is expected to cost approximately $275 per family. Additional details will be shared as they become available.

Community Club and Group Meeting Space
With the Town of Kiawah Island officially moved into their new facility, the former Kiawah Municipal Center building at 23 Beachwalker Drive has been renovated and renamed. The building, which houses KICA offices and member meeting space, is now called Beachwalker Center.

With the closure of The Sandcastle for its renovations, recreation staff, community groups and other events have been or are being relocated (as space allows) to Beachwalker Center. Office hours for recreation staff during this time are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For members visiting Beachwalker Center or the temporary fitness facility, KICA suggests carpooling when possible, as parking is limited at these locations.

If you would like to schedule space for a community group, or have other questions regarding KICA recreation and fitness, contact recreation staff at sandcastle@kica.us or 843-768-3875.


List of KICA Boardwalks and Leisure Trails Now Open

Recovery and restoration following Hurricane Irma is well underway and the island is beginning to return to normal operations. The following KICA-owned boardwalks are now open, allowing safe access to the beach:

BW-1 (Duneside Villas) – ramp
BW-7 (Seascape Villas) – ramp
BW 8-A (Sandcastle Pool Deck) – ramp only
BW 8-B (Between Sandcastle and Eugenia Ave) – ramp
BW-9 (Between 7 and 9 Eugenia Ave)
BW-10 (Eugenia at Surfwatch Rd) – ramp
BW-12 (Eugenia at Low Oak Woods Rd)
BW-14 (Between 61-B and 63-A Eugenia Ave)
BW-15 (Between 69 and 71 Eugenia Ave)
BW-22 (Windswept Villas) – ramp
BW-27 (End of Turtle Beach Ln) – ramp
BW-29 (Between Atlantic Beach Ct and Nicklaus Ln)
BW-31 (Between 341 and 342 Surfsong Rd) – ramp
BW-32 (Between 55 and 56 Surfsong Rd) – ramp
BW-33 (Between 63 and 64 Surfsong Rd)
BW-35 (Jackstay Ct)
BW-40 (Between Sand Fiddler Ct and Ocean Marsh Rd) – ramp

Some of these boardwalks will still need some modifications, but they are currently open for use. The boardwalks with ramps are indicated above.

There are also a number of leisure trails open for use:

Kiawah Island Parkway
Governors Drive
Ocean Course Drive
Kiawah Beach Drive
Sea Forest Drive
Turtle Beach Lane
Marsh Hawk Tower
Marsh Island Tower
Blue Heron Pond Tower
Trails leading to KICA boardwalks

Members should still use caution on these trails and avoid areas that are barricaded off for their safety.

As updates on boardwalk and leisure trail status and openings become available, they will be posted to kica.us/boardwalks.


July Digest: Take An Early Look at Potential Future Resort Improvements

Read the July Digest Online Today!

This issue features an early look at potential future improvements for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, an update on over $60,000 in donations recently distributed by the Kiawah Cares Foundation, information on how you can prepare for hurricane season, and details on all of the exciting events happening around Kiawah for the Fourth of July.


View the Sandcastle Renovation Presentation

At the May 1 KICA Board of Directors meeting, the community was invited to view a presentation from the Sandcastle planning team on options to renovate and improve this important community asset. View a PDF of this presentation.

Watch the high definition video meeting  on KICA’s YouTube channel.

For questions or comments, email justask@kica.us.


Rhett’s Bluff Survey Results Are In

RB Survey results are in! View the results at kica.us/rhetts-bluff-survey-results-1/.

In addition to the results, many property owner comments were made. These are being reviewed. Thank you for your participation. The information gathered will be very helpful in planning the reconstruction of this amenity.


KICA to Invest in Improvements at the Sandcastle

The KICA Board of Directors recently asked staff to begin work on plans to upgrade the Sandcastle. The Sandcastle facility is the primary amenity available to all KICA members. The 21-year-old community center has received only minor investments over that period, while the number of KICA properties has grown by about 10% and usage data shows an increase in the number of members using the facilities at Sandcastle.

In 2015, members voted down a $245 increase in annual KICA fees, which was needed to support the financing for a proposed $8.6 Million upgrade to the Sandcastle. Although the vote to borrow significantly and invest in a very major upgrade at Sandcastle did not pass, it is clear that this facility requires attention beyond minor investments. KICA’s acquisition of the Town Municipal Center building in October 2016 will provide additional meeting space and further flexibility to how the space at the Sandcastle can be used. Therefore, the board has authorized an investment to reinvigorate and improve the Sandcastle.

There will be a community presentation no later than June with the details to date. The level of investment will be less than half of what was previously proposed, and the board believes KICA can fund this through a combination of reducing current operating reserves and a minor financing. Since there will be no increase in annual dues, a member vote is not required. The goal is to have the project completed and in service by summer 2018.

The key components of this investment include:

– bringing the look and feel more in line with Kiawah standards
– operating within the current footprint of the building
– taking better advantage of the ocean views
– maintaining or increasing the space allocation for fitness
– constructing an adult pool (which may be done now or in the future, depending on whether it can be accomplished within the budgetary framework outlined).

We look forward to sharing the plans when they are available, and are open to input and suggestions from the community.


Road Rejuvenation Project Underway

Beginning on March 20, weather permitting, and continuing for approximately three weeks, an asphalt rejuvenation project will be underway on one-third of Kiawah Island’s roads, including the Kiawah Island Parkway. The classic way to repair roads is to “mill and replace,” by removing the top layer of asphalt and applying a fresh layer of asphalt. KICA typically spends $300,000 annually on mill and replace repair to approximately ½-1 mile stretch of roadway. In changing to a road rejuvenation solution, KICA will be able to work on approximately 20 miles of roads for the same annual expenditure.

KICA’s contractor, Total Asphalt, will be applying a restorative liquid to the asphalt surfaces. This liquid penetrates the asphalt binder, thereby restoring its elasticity and binding capabilities. The coal tar component of the rejuvenator will also form a surface barrier to prevent water infiltration to the base of the road, as well as fill in minor road cracking. With this treatment, roads should last indefinitely. Road rejuvenation has the potential for significant cost savings for KICA. A similar technique is currently being used by the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Charleston County. It should not be confused with a pavement sealer, which is not a successful technique for roadways.

Please Note:  Sand on the roadway is intentional. It is placed on top of the rejuvenated road surface to stop tracking of the product and lessen the time the road needs to be closed. 

Total Asphalt will be working on most roads on the front side of the island, as well as the initial section of Surfsong Road and its side streets. While the contractor is working on the roadway, there will be disruptions to the neighborhood, including traffic delays, one lane traffic, reduced services for trash and recycling, and restrictions for contractors. Traffic flaggers will be on-hand to assist traffic, as necessary.

Sections of roads that have been rejuvenated will be closed for 24 hours to 4-wheel vehicles, as the material is “tacky” and could be spread to other areas, such as concrete curbing and driveways. There will be longer restrictions on 6-wheel (or larger) vehicles. KICA will make every effort to keep disruptions to a minimum and to the dates specified. Members on impacted roads will be emailed during the week prior, so members will know what to expect. Please take the time to notify any guests you may have or any regularly scheduled contractors.

The week of Monday, March 20 – Saturday, March 25, the contractor will be working on the following roads. Surfsong Road will be closed to through traffic  from Wednesday, March 22 – Friday, March 24 from Governors Drive to Ocean Green Drive.

Angler Hall                                    Arrowhead Hall
Atlantic Beach Court               Bank Swallow Lane
Baldpate Court                          Bulrush Lane
Cordgrass Court                        Doral Open
Glen Eagle Court                      Green Dolphin Way
Green Winged Teal Road     Masters Court
Muirfield Lane                          Ocean Green Drive
Sea Forest Drive                       Sea Marsh Road
Summer Duck Way                Surfsong Road
Turtle Beach Lane                 Winged Foot Court

Complete list of roads that will be rejuvenated throughout the project and approximate dates:

Roads by date of work.
Roads by street name.

If you have additional questions or if you have special needs which need to be considered, contact the KICA project managers below.

Will Connor
Director of Major Repairs
843-768-2315 office, 843-708-3609 cell

Ryan Ellmers
Civil Engineer
843-768-2315 office, 843-412-3063 cell


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


KICA and KIGR Use Creative Timing to Address Drainage and Restoration Projects

KICA’s drainage system beneath the Cougar Point Golf Course is some of the oldest infrastructure on the island, having been installed by the Kuwaitis in the 1970s. It’s about to get an upgrade.

The infrastructure is an important part of the large Beachwalker drainage basin (West Beach, portions of East Beach and Settlement), which discharges to the Kiawah River at an outlet on Beachwalker Drive.  This drainage basin encompasses 38 ponds.  KICA will use the spin-casting technique to repair large pipes within the system. Spin-casting is the latest in culvert rehabilitation technology for medium- to large-diameter storm water infrastructure, using a structural mortar applied centrifugally to attain a uniform thickness around the interior of compromised pipes. This method achieves two important factors: it avoids costly and time-consuming excavation, and provides a long-term service life.  Before employing this method, KICA engineers visited communities where it has been in use, and were impressed with what they saw. KICA will also spot-excavate ponds along the course to open drainage flow, as well as lower the overall pond levels in the drainage basin to facilitate the project.

The timing of this work was coordinated with the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which closed Cougar Point for renovations just after Thanksgiving.  With Gary Player consulting, course renovations will include re-grassing the greens, tees, and fairways with Paspalum (the same highly acclaimed salt-tolerant grass that the resort has on its other four golf courses); laser level all tee boxes including the practice range; rebuild all bunkers; update the irrigation throughout the golf course; and rebuild existing bulkheads.  The course is slated to reopen in October 2017.

KICA’s $1.5 million drainage work began in early December when final DHEC and Army Corp of Engineers permits were secured, and is scheduled to be completed in May.  When contractors are working in the area, members will see aqua dams put in place in the ponds, which will then be dewatered to complete the work. Christmas holidays aside, KICA’s work will occur during regular construction hours, and there will be some noise from pumps and vacuum trucks removing sediment from the pipes. (KIGR has a permit for Sunday work.)  We appreciate your patience as this important work is underway.


New Passive Park, Landscape Improvements Coming to Flyway Drive

Two exciting new projects are beginning to come together on Flyway Drive. Surfsong Park (view PDF here) is a small section of land, located at the corner of Flyway Drive and Surfsong Road across from 65 Surfsong Road, that will be developed into a passive park. This relaxing area will be the perfect respite for walkers or bikers in the area. The park will include benches, a water fountain with pet fountain and a butterfly garden. Work will begin shortly and is expected to be finished in early August.

The second project is an extension of the Flyway Drive landscape renovations started in 2015. The project area will run from Surfsong Road to the entrance of Osprey Beach. KICA will be working within its road rights-of-way.

The project began the last week in June with boring under the road for irrigation. On July 5, members will begin to see irrigation go in.
These landscape renovations are much smaller in scope than the first phase and are expected to be completed by July 31.

Flyway Landscape Renovations PDF – Part 1
Flyway Landscape Renovations PDF – Part 2