Sanctified Hill Park after renovations (Source: City of Fountain Inn)

Transformed Sanctified Hill Park Now Open in Fountain Inn

Sanctified Hill Park, the only park in Fountain Inn on its Lauren County side, has undergone a remarkable transformation, thanks to a community-wide effort led by a neighboring congregation. After years of neglect, the park has been completely renovated, making it a central gathering place for the surrounding community.

Revitalization Efforts and Funding

For years, maintenance of the park had fallen to the nearby Goldenview Baptist Church. However, the park’s condition was allowed to deteriorate over time, despite being a historically Black neighborhood’s central gathering place. However, in September, Fountain Inn broke ground on a $3 million renovation of the park, leveraging state, city, and county funds. The renovation project culminated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 5.

Initially, it appeared the cost of the work would require it to be divided into two phases. But after State Rep. Mark Willis secured $2.6 million for the project in this year’s state budget, the city was able to complete it all at once. Additionally, $75,000 came from the Laurens County allotment of the American Rescue Plan stimulus package, and the county’s penny sales tax provided $50,000. The city covered the remainder of the roughly $3 million price tag.

Park’s New Features

Previously, the park consisted of an aging asphalt basketball court, a field, and a handful of swings. However, the updated Sanctified Hill Park now includes a paved walking trail, bathrooms, picnic shelters, new basketball courts, a parking lot, and two playgrounds, one of which is ADA compliant. The new playgrounds are a particularly welcome addition to the park, as they provide an area for children to play safely.

Community Response and Mayor’s Priorities

Pastor Jeffery Williams of Goldenview Baptist, who was actively involved in the push to revitalize the park, praised the final product, saying, “This is more than what I imagined it would be. It’s brought a sense of community. I’ve seen everybody out there of different races just getting along.”

Sanctified Hill’s new parking lot has been full almost every day since it opened, Williams said. Mayor GP McLeer, who made investing in Sanctified Hill a priority since his election in 2019, echoed Williams’ sentiment. He said the ribbon-cutting ceremony had a cookout feel, similar to the community meetings the city hosted to gather input for the project. The city was intentional about involving the surrounding neighborhood at every step of the process and giving its residents a sense of ownership over the newly updated park.

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