The story below aired Sunday on WCHS.
The view across from the Clay Center just got a little better. The city dedicated its Gateway Greenspace just right over the street from the arts’ center Sunday afternoon.
The nearly $3 million project has been ten years in the making with the Charleston Area Alliance taking a lead role in its construction.
“We wanted an aesthetically pleasing gateway to our community, this is how so many people enter our city, and we wanted people to take ownership in it and consider it theirs,” said Charleston Area Alliance President Matt Ballard.
The project was paid for by number of private donations and grants from the federal, state, and local governments. Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito helped secure much of the funding at the federal level for the green space through several earmarks.
“It’s your tax dollars coming back to you in the form of enrichment and an improvement to our community and our way life,” said the Congresswoman.
During his remarks Mayor Danny Jones recalled places that use to occupy the space on Washington Street East. He invoked the names of Charleston High School and Roger Dean Chevrolet eliciting a few chuckles from the crowd. He also cited the importance of having such a space to greet those coming off of Interstate 64.
“This is the first impression they may have of our city if this is where they arrive in Charleston,” said the Mayor.
The Greenspace is now open for the public to enjoy and includes a number of features including a bike rack, sitting area, and educational zones for children or those looking to learn about plant life in the state.