Groundbreaking for West Columbia’s newest park for children of all abilities
West Columbia, SC (Angelica Iglesias) – On October 23, the City of West Columbia held the groundbreaking for the Carraway Community Park, an enabling exploratory park.
The playground is intended to be an inclusive place where all children no matter their abilities can come together and play. The enabling park will be the newest extension of the West Columbia Riverwalk and will include much more parking. It will be the second park of its kind in South Carolina.
All facilities and amenities in the park will be ADA accessible. These amenities are the playground, water fountains, restrooms, an open air pavilion, landscaping, handicap accessible parking, and sidewalks.
It has taken many people to turn this great idea into realty. During the groundbreaking ceremony, West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton identified the Steering Committee. This group of people gave invaluable insights and input that made this project possible. These individuals are:
- Karen Holloman, assistant principle of Riverbank Elementary (Lexington District Two) and mother of a child with special needs
- Lana Ward, special education teacher at Northside Middle School (Lexington District Two)
- Lisa Freeman, mother of a child in Lana Ward’s class
- Elizabeth Filaseta Boone, third year law student at USC and has lived with mobility needs since she was a child
-Tem Miles, West Columbia councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem and father of a child with special needs.
Tem Miles spoke after the mayor and explained how this project came about. The city had promised the sale of the Brookland project on the corner of Alexander Road and Meeting Street would be used to address issues like parking for the Riverwalk. The city kept their promise and more. They came up with this great project that not only solves problems for the city but has the opportunity to bring people together.
McAdams Company out of Charlotte, NC is the architectural engineering firm hired by the city to design the enabling park. They have experience dating back to 1979. Dan Lambert is the principle landscape architect for the project and designed the only other all-inclusive playground in South Carolina located in Myrtle Beach. Smith Constructors and Engineers will build the park; the company is based in Chapin.
The city received a $250,000 grant by Senator Nikki Setzler and Representative Micah Caskey from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism to assist in funding the park and playground. Other funding partners include Central Carolina Cummunity Foundation, West Columbia Beautification Foundation, the City of West Columbia, Lexington County, and the State of South Carolina.
Carraway Community Park is expected to open March 2019. You can click here for a virtual simulation of the park. If you would like more information on the park, visit the City of West Columbia’s website here.