Kiawah Island Digest November 2017 - Page 3

3 November 2017 The Sandcastle, A History (Continued From Previous Page) floor was the current large room divisible into three and a large catering kitchen which was no longer described as a club-like grill, but rather, according to the August 1996 Digest, as a space for property owner functions, seated meals and special event rentals. Outside was a verandah on both levels that overlooked the ocean and wrapped around the side, a new beach access with showers, and 103 parking spaces. Nat Malcolm remembers some of the early challenges: a mother at the grand opening, furious that Nat would not let her children play in the fitness room; providing easy access for property owners and their guests while screening out non- KICA members; the air conditioning and sound systems, both initially ineffective; the push and pull by members over whether the complex should be elegant and club-like with dues or, as Nat preferred, a community asset for everyone. He also remembers good times. “My favorite times were the events, especially the property owner dinners that I started. They benefited the caterers who wanted to be known by the community as well as the members, and were one of the center pieces of our activities.” He is still proud of the large event space. “We built the event space as a place for wedding receptions and it is still used for them today.” KICA Recreation Director Kay Narmour has been working at the Sandcastle almost since its inception. She recalled, “The thinking was that except for Nat as manager, and a half-time assistant manager, property owner volunteers would run the building, pool and food operations. There wasn’t even to be a fitness instructor. No one knew how much work running a recreation center would be. I was hired six hours a week to fill in so the people running it could go play tennis. Obviously, you can’t run a place like this with only volunteer help.” Kay quickly began to handle weekend events and her hours increased. Soon, she was the assistant manager and eventually she replaced Nat as Sandcastle manager. The fitness room and food operations caused problems from the beginning. At first, member volunteers staffed the snack bar, but soon the pool contractor who provided the lifeguards took over that function, serving little more than hamburgers, hotdogs, peanut butter sandwiches and snacks. In 1996, when the building opened, the snack bar kitchen was inside the main building; food was served from the kitchen to people outside where the seating was. But flies were a problem, so the seating area was enclosed the second summer. The Sandcastle's Enclosed Snack Bar, Circa 1997 accessible only through the kitchen or the middle room [which was to have been the bar]. So when the rooms were used separately, if the middle room was in use, people had enter the third room through the kitchen.” There was no upstairs storage, so nowhere to store the heavy round pedestal tables that had been purchased for the dining room and, though attractive furniture superior to catering quality tables, frequently had to be moved so the room could be used for activities other than dining. “No one envisioned that the rooms would have a variety of uses or could foresee how the Sandcastle would eventually be used.” Kay said. The fitness area suffered from a different set of problems. When it opened, it had the Trotter Gym, some cardio equipment and class space. Soon, women in classes began complaining about the men on tre