SMITHERS, WV (WOAY) – Back in July the city of Smithers held a public meeting to discuss the plans for a new park.
The park will be located on the property of the old Oakland School building which has served the community from 1920 until 2014, but once the building is removed it’s property will once again serve the community.
“Time has not been kind to this building,” said Mayor Anne Cavalier. “It’s time for it to make way for something else so we are looking at putting in a full community park here and we are excited that once again this community school can welcome the community.”
Thanks to the state of West Virginia’s Slum and Blight program and the National Guard the old school building will be demolished at no cost to the city sometime in April.
“But in the meantime we will have a dangerous building out of the way,” Mayor Cavalier said. “We will have pretty green grass and we will have access to the river. Both for the local residents and for the tourists that we want to try to attract to the area.”
Smithers sits in a great location for tourists because it is directly half way between Charleston and the New River Gorge National Park. The new park, once built, will allow river access for everyone including those with disabilities, a basketball court, splash pad, public restrooms, and a picnic area for all to enjoy.
“If you get off the river your going to want some food,” said Mayor Cavalier. “Your going to want a place maybe for your kids to run around and enjoy themselves. So we will have food trucks, we will have covered picnic tables so that if it does rain you can get in out of the rain.”
Mayor Cavalier says there is no definitive timeline on when construction will begin, but she hopes to see it start in a year.