BERLIN – Construction of the long-discussed activity center proposed for Old Ocean City Boulevard began this week.
Equipment is now moving on the piece of land across from the former Tyson property pegged for a youth activity center featuring daycare and gymnastics. The project, first proposed by Carmella Solito of Twisters Gymnastics in 2011, received the town’s support in its bid for a loan from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in 2015.
Though Solito declined to comment, Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director, confirmed Tuesday that work was underway at the site.
“We are pleased that the construction of the new Twisters has finally begun,” she said.
According to Berlin Planning Director Dave Engelhart, building permits for the project were issued in January. Crews began site preparation work this week.
“I’m glad to see it get off the ground,” Engelhart said.
Solito, who runs Twisters Gymnastics on Route 113, told The Dispatch last year that work on her new building, which initially began at the start of 2015, hit some “roadblocks” and came to halt.
“The builder didn’t do what he said he would do,” she said. “There are some processes we need to go through.”
She said at the time that once work began again, construction was expected to take 210 days.
Solito first presented plans to build a 33,000-square-foot activity center to town officials in 2011. She has said it would include pre-school, gymnastics, laser tag, golf and fitness space. She’s described it as a true activity center with space for recreational gymnastics as well as things like soccer and trampolines. She will also continue to offer childcare in the new facility.
Solito already serves more than 250 children between Twisters and her daycare program. Solito has said that the new facility would serve between 500 and 600 children and that her staff of 32 would double.
“It will bring more jobs to the community,” she said in August of 2015. “It’s going to be a great facility for the town. There’ll be something for everyone.”