The City of West Columbia cut the ribbon on the much-anticipated Carraway Park at the Riverwalk, Monday morning. It's at 212 Hudson Street, and described as “A Place for All Children to Play Together.”
Special education students and teachers from Lexington Two's Northside Middle School and Riverbank Elementary School attended the ceremony. US Rep. Joe Wilson was also on hand.
The park opening is a milestone.
“There has never been an opportunity for people to play together regardless of what their abilities are,” said West Columbia Mayor Pro Tem, Tem Miles. “We're going to have that for the first time.”
West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton referenced the commemorative bricks that are being placed in the park.
He said the bricks, being sold by the West Columbia Beautification Foundation “showcase the love from the community for this park.”
State Sen. Nikki Setzler noted that Jack Carraway, who the park is named in honor of, is “smiling today.”
Setzler, with state Rep. Micah Caskey, helped secure a $250,000 Parks and Recreation Commission grant for the park's playground equipment and the parking lot.
Setzler quoted President John F. Kennedy who said “our children are living messengers for a time we will never see." Setzler said the park sends the message “that we care about each and every child in our community.”
Caskey said the park is the result of a lot of work by City of West Columbia staff.
He also credited the mayor and city council for their vision to create the park. He said the park materialized “in the face of sometimes uniformed opposition.”
Caskey said the Central Carolina Community Foundation was a financial contributor, via grant, to the building of the park.
Miles noted that the park comes with a large parking lot that will be an asset to visitors of Riverwalk.