McCormick Park getting makeover this spring

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McCormick Park will see updates to its current structure this coming spring.

McCormick Park will see updates to its current structure this coming spring.

The Williamston Post
Caitlin DeLuca

McCormick Park will be undergoing serious updates this spring.

The plan, which can be found on the city of Williamston’s website, outlines the six pieces that will be upgraded and six pieces that will be replaced completely.

Some of the upgrades include all new swing sets, updates to the double slide, an upgraded climbing wall and a new tilted whirlwind seat.

The exact start and end date of the project have not been set, but the total cost of the update will be over $17,000, none of which is taxpayer money.  

Williamston’s city engineer Scott De Vries said the update is necessary.

“The big problem is that this thing was installed twenty years ago so standards have changed,” said De Vries. “We had assessments done on whether it meets current safety standards and there were some inadequacies that needed to be fixed, as well things just needing to be replaced.”

This is not McCormick Park’s first update.

“There was a project… to really advance and develop the park as we see it now back in 2009,” said De Vries.

“It was brought to the attention of the Parks and Rec committee… what was starting to break and what was starting to be a problem with the wooden playscape. We started looking into it and some serious maintenance needed to be done out there,” he said.

Aside from the broken and problem areas in the playscape, arsenic in the wood was also an issue.

“The treated lumber that was used in the 1990s had a chemical compound in there as part of the treatment for preservative and there’s some arsenic in that,” De Vries said.

Despite the update in 2009 to fix those problems, parts of McCormick park still fell into disrepair. So, a meeting was hosted by the city to decide what to do with the park.  

From this meeting, the Friends of Williamston Parks was formed by regular members of the community and is all volunteer based.

Friends of Williamston Parks is a committee that falls under the Williamston Area Beautification Fund, which is a 501(c)(3).

“As a parent of two children who love to play at McCormick Park, I can say [the update is] very important.” said Heather Galecka, a member of the group who helped plan the current update.

The Friends have been the decision makers behind the update and making it happen.

Last year, the group had an auction fundraiser, raising over $25,000 which will pay for this park’s update and other updates.

The Friends group will be volunteering during the project, with help from regular citizens and local experts like contractors.

McCormick Park’s update is going to be very meaningful for the community, according to Cindy Bennett, another member of the Friends group who helped plan the update.

“Williamston is very community oriented and that’s really our only park, so having that there is essential,” Bennett said. “It’s a staple in the community. Everybody’s very excited. And it’s not just for little kids it’s for all sorts of kids, and it’s right in the middle of town.”

De Vries also noted the park’s importance.

“It’s important for a community to have good recreational opportunities, safe places to take their young children to play,” De Vries said.

“It gives a sense of community because we have other things that happen there. There’s the Thursday night concerts in the park that happen in the summer time, the Artfest is in the park, National Night Out happen there. It’s really added to the quality of life.”

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