Work continues on Irmo’s Rawls Creek Park, fate of skatepark portion remains up in the air

Posted 6/6/23

Irmo residents are still looking for funding for a skatepark.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get 50% of all subscriptions for a limited time. Subscribe today.

You can cancel anytime.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Work continues on Irmo’s Rawls Creek Park, fate of skatepark portion remains up in the air


Irmo residents are still looking for funding for a skatepark.

At its regular May 16 meeting, Irmo Town Council approved electrical and security upgrades to Rawls Creek Park as part of the ongoing effort to open up the newly designed park, which will feature a dog park and the town's first skatepark.

With these two items, the town has paved the way for the park’s security gates and to retrofit any existing lights into LED, with an approximate cost of nearly $30,000 for the electrical work. The addition of security locks and access controls, also approved May 16, will cost nearly $20,000.

The approval of these items follows the town awarding a contract to Grace Construction Group April 18 for phase two of the park's construction, which will add a bathroom, install a sign and refurbish the park's electrical shed for a little more than $300,000.

But there’s more to be done to make the skatepark portion of the Rawls Creek upgrades a reality.

Marie Ryan, a member of the Irmo Skate Park Committee, told the Chronicle the committee is still working to gather the funds to build it. Ryan said the committee is now looking to build a park that is 8,000 square feet, 2,000 square feet larger than it was looking at previously.

Ryan said the committee has applied for a PARDs grant through the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for $238,000 and is currently in the process of gaining delegate signatures. According to the department's website, the PARD grant comes out of the Park and Recreation Development Fund.

Ryan told the Chronicle that the committee must receive signatures from 51% of the delegation in order to qualify for this grant, sharing that they have been unable to obtain any signatures.

Outside of grants, the committee has done a few fundraisers this year including a Deck the Deck Skateboard event at Craft and Draft’s Irmo location, where they raised roughly $3,000, and a skateboard auction where local artists decorated decks, which raised about $800.

The committee needs to raise about $300,000 to build the park and has thus far raised a little over $100,000, Ryan reported.

There is no set date for when the committee needs this funding, Ryan explained that they need it before construction on the bathrooms for the park can begin.

“We're still raising money but right now we're just really waiting on the town to help us,” she said.

She told the Chronicle she believes the town could do more to help with this project, sharing that they could have allocated American Rescue Plan funds to the park. She said communities like Orangeburg and Greenville have allocated these funds to skateparks since it is a safe outdoor activity that is low maintenance.

“This project would benefit so many kids in Irmo that can't participate in cheerleading and football and baseball and all of these other things because they're either low income or they come from single parent families,” Ryan said. “This is an activity that all of the kids in Irmo can participate”

“You know, it's all inclusive, there's no tryouts. There's no expense," she added “We have a program where we give every kid in the community a skateboard, a helmet, and pads so that every kid in the community can do it. We just need the town's support for that.”

irmo skatepark, rawls creek park, lexington county construction


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here