City of Aiken parks getting a major upgrade citywide

Rendering of the new playground at Virginia Acres Park. The playground will have ziplines, a climbing net, and musical capabilities.

Friday, Feb. 7, 2020
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- The City of Aiken Parks and Recreation was awarded a grant that allows them to revamp the parks and centers around the city.

The Virginia Acres Park is one of the most noticeable and used parts of the city of Aiken.

People come to walk and play on the playground but very soon it will get an entirely new look.

The playground was built in 1968 but hasn't been updated since the 90s. That means much of the equipment is outdated and sometimes dangerous.

"We are trying to do everything we can to bring in more participation for outdoor recreation." said Joy Lester, the project manager for the parks in Aiken.

Virginia Acres Park is just one of the projects the city is working on. Smith Hazel Pool Center is geeting a brand new look that will feature a spiral slide that goes into the pool and buckets that tip over and dump water on everyone when they become full.

"We want to make each park unique and different." said Joy.

Joy hopes the upgrades will encourage families to get more active and get kids away from television screens.

These news parks will also help to make Aiken more beautiful.

"We are going to be making some other park improvements." said Joy.

The City of Aiken also wanted to focus on was accessibility. Along with the changes to the parks, safety will be upgraded and the parks and centers will feature access for people with disabilities by ADA standards.

"I think it will be fun." Joy said. "I wish I was a kid again."

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