Johnsonville High School: A Community Place
Angela Rogers | May 09, 2016
Johnsonville High School, “Home of the Golden Flashes,” is located in Johnsonville, SC. In 2000, the tennis courts were built and the track was resurfaced by the school district in conjunction with Florence County. The superintendent at that time (Dr. Dale Strickland) initiated the request of the County to share the costs.
The tennis courts and track are not directly on the high school campus but are within a half mile between the elementary school and the high school. Both outdoor recreational facilities are available for public use virtually 24/7. Both have lights, but the lights on the tennis courts are on an automatic timer and go off around 9:00 pm. The track is a quarter mile paved circle with markings for lanes and distances. No bikes and skateboards are allowed on the track or tennis courts.
Community members use the track all during the day; school staff use the track as well. Seniors in the community can be seen walking and socializing on the track throughout the day. As for the courts, individuals do enjoy the courts for a game of tennis.
These outdoor facilities give the community somewhere to go. Many use the facilities for health or rehabilitation purposes. The track is an even surface, so it is a good place to walk. Allowing public use of these facilities has a positive impact on the health of the community. Principal Sam Tuten shared, “This is a community place. I have to commend the community for taking care of the facilities.” The school does its part by keeping the facilities safe and providing lighting.
Staying true to its Alma Mater, “In the East of Florence County, ‘neath the sky so blue, stands our noble Alma Mater, glorious to view. Lift the chorus, speed it onward, may it never fail; Hail to thee our Alma Mater, Johnsonville all hail.”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging schools and districts to expand open community use statewide. Healthy Eating/Active Living coordinators from DHEC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity are providing assistance and guidance in an effort to convince schools across South Carolina to make their outdoor facilities available for public use to promote physical activity, healthy lifestyles, and stronger communities.