Just 24 hours before the first games were set to begin on the four new baseball fields at Riverside Park, Columbia County leaders officially christened the final phase of improvements at the 75-acre park off Hardy-McManus Road on Monday afternoon.
"By the grace of God and a lot of hard work by a lot of good people, we are proud to open this today," said County Commissioner Tom Mercer.
Included in the $2 million, phase-three work was more parking, an open field for activities, a new scoring tower-restroom facility and the four baseball diamonds.
It's the diamonds that may prove most valuable to the county - especially considering the area around the fields is one of the fastest growing parts of Columbia County.
"Those are much-need in the baseball program," said Community and Leisure Services Director Frank Neal. "Plus, they are near neighborhoods and schools, so they are more convenient to residents."
Also at the park is a fishing pier, boat ramp to access the Savannah River, a boat dock, another baseball field, tennis courts and picnic areas.
The improvements completed during the past few years has turned the park into one of the most popular in the county.
"It gets a lot of use," he said.
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