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Finlay Park to get $18 million upgrade, city leaders say

The park could get a new stage, a revitalized fountain, and a stream.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia city leaders have unveiled plans for a major upgrade to Columbia's Finlay Park.

If the plan is approved,  the downtown park will get an $18 million dollar renovation. This will be publicly funded, but officials are working on public/private partnerships to further develop the maintain the site.

The plan includes a number of changes, aimed at making the park more sustainable and inclusive.They include a revitalized fountain, a stream that would go around the park, and a new stage, as well as a play area.

There would also be a multi-use building, and leaders hope to have number of activities at the site. Some of the ideas include remote control boats for the pond, table tennis, slides, and art installations.

Credit: City of Columbia

Officials say that the improvements will bring Finlay Park back to life.

"It will provide an experience that our citizens will truly enjoy," said Columbia Assistant City Manager Henry Simons. 

Credit: City of Columbia

Once approved by city council, the plan would take two years to be completed.

Finlay park's history dates back to the the 1850s, when it opened under the name Sidney Park. It became an industrial site after the Civil War, but was rededicated as Sidney Park in 1990.

The name was changed to Finlay Park two years later, in honor of former Mayor Kirkman Finlay.

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