By Richard Sullins | [email protected]
Lee County took another step closer to a revitalized park system on Friday when an opening ceremony was held at Horton Park to celebrate the facility’s “gentle” reopening with new equipment and landscaping.
Lee County Commission Vice-Chair Arianna Lavallee spoke on behalf of the county and said she was “excited about the memories that will take place here.”
Sanford Mayor Pro Tempore Byron Buckels was reminded of the park’s history.
“For some of us our first kisses may have taken place here,” which sparked laughter from the 125 people who braved a chilly afternoon to attend the ceremony, many of whom had brought their children or grandchildren.
“Many family memories have been collected at Horton Park over the years, and I am excited to be part of the team that will continue to provide the opportunities for these family memories,” said Joseph Keel, director of Lee County Parks and Recreation. “The ultra-modern playground and the ADA surface are a great asset for the community.”
The original plan was to renovate the park and demolish the pool and pool house because they were in disrepair. But members of the ward began to attend district commissioner meetings, and their voices were heard.
“The community heard about it and took action. This is how the government should work, ”said Buckels.
Horton Park is the second of four county parks to be revitalized this year. In October, the Kiwanis Children’s Park reopened after renovation and renovation. Temple Park, located on Seventh Street and McIver Street, is currently under renovation and is next on the list for completion if weather permits. Work on OT Sloan Park is also in progress.
The construction of Horton Park included a new playground and equipment for children of all ages, new park shelters, a revitalized baseball field and the renovation of existing basketball courts. The gentle reopening will allow parishioners to enjoy these parts of the park while the pool and pool house undergo renovations over the next several months. A full reopening is tentatively slated for July 2022, and Buckels said he can’t wait.
“It can happen, but I’m telling you who are here today that I want to be the first to jump in the water. I plan to come with my swimsuit, ”he said. “Well, that’s going to be a sight.”
JM Thompson was the general contractor for the Horton Park project and WithersRavenel provided engineering.