Blythewood area residents hoping for improved facilities at Blythewood Park will have the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns with the Richland County Recreation Commission next week. The commission will hold a community meeting to collect feedback for enhancements and facility improvements from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31 in the park’s recreation center at 126 Boney Rd. Attendees will be required to wear face coverings, and seating will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Blythewood Park is a 21.62-acre recreation complex including a recreation center with a gymnasium, game room, weight room, club room, arts and crafts room, and kitchen. The park also includes two lighted Dixie Youth baseball fields, one lighted softball field, two batting cages, a football field, a playground, concession stand, picnic facilities with a shelter, and a walking trail. The park’s two tennis courts are closed due to poor court conditions and safety hazards, according to the recreation commission’s website.

“Both citizens and staff recognize there’s a need to upgrade this facility,” said Lakita Watson with the recreation commission. “Some improvements identified in the agency’s 2016 Comprehensive Needs Assessment include adding shade to the playground, constructing additional baseball or softball fields, upgrading the parking lot and lighting, and upgrading the shelter, concession stand and restrooms.”

Watson said after community input sessions, site assessments and facility operations review, the needs will be prioritized based on safety, security and access. The plan will be completed next spring, and upgrades will begin as funding becomes available.

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