Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Richland County Recreation Commission opened the doors to the renovated Bluff Road Park, a welcome site to the crowd that came from the community.
In July 2011 the old building was demolished to make way for a modern 20,000 square foot facility, a welcome sight for 30-year resident Willistine Mitchell-Lagree.
According to Mitchell-Lagree, "One of the needs is a place like this facility, where our children can be safe, where they can come to a place to learn, where they can grow and where they can feel safe in the community."
The new building and renovated area is not just a place for children to stay safe, but it is also a place for the kids to play sports including baseball, the sport that Marshall Green started coaching here decades ago.
"The facilities were very downgraded, because when it would rain, you would have to cancel the games for at least a couple of days, because the infield would be so wet and there would be so much water you couldn't play on it," said Green who has coached over 40 years.
Now with a new gymnasium, workout room and two large classrooms, Mitchell-Lagree believes this can be the start of something great in this Lower Richland community, especially for those who have been waiting for this day.
Mitchell-Lagree said, "There are people in the community that have never lost hope, they always had a dream and knew that one day things would get better and that is what we have to do regardless of our circumstance or our surroundings we cannot allow that to dampen our spirits of hope, this is a reality when we just have hope, faith and just believe."
This park was built as part of the Recreation Commission's $50 million bond project.
It is open Monday through Friday 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.