ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Now that school is out for the summer, many in Orangeburg are looking for something to keep them busy.
"Anything to keep my daughter active and give me a break for a minute," said Kamayla Mendez, a Columbia resident. "We're trying to be outside, but it's really getting too hot for this."
"All you have is a skating rink," said Eric Jenkins, an Orangeburg resident. "We used to have a bowling alley, but there's really nothing to do in Orangeburg."
"Unless you went to Summerville or Columbia, there's nothing to do here," expressed Kennetta Holloway, Orangeburg resident. "There's a skating rink, but it's limited."
'The Max,' a new family entertainment center, is hoping to fill the void.
"Our family got together, thought of this idea, and wanted to show services we've been a part of to the community," said Trina Gordon, general manager of The Max.
Gordon says the indoor entertainment center was an idea her family came up with to keep locals entertained and intown. She says they got nearly a $4 million loan through the Small Business Administration to build the facility.
"We've been working on this project for over six years," expressed Gordon. "We wanted something for our community to enjoy and not leave our area to get something."
As of now, The Max is having a soft opening with limited public access. There will be six two-hour sessions of up to 50 guests at a time for the next two weeks. You have to schedule a date on Eventbrite. However, the center is expected to operate at full capacity in mid-July.
Parents say this family center is the perfect addition to the town, especially with the challenge of keeping kids active during the pandemic.
"This is a great addition because they have absolutely nothing to do," explained Holloway. "Rather than get on the interstate and travel, we're able to stay in town and have little fun."