KFP: Ready to ride: New equipment in place at Holloway Recreation Center


Streaks of sand are evidence of recent play on the new equipment at Holloway Park on Thursday.

Photo by Janet S. Carter / The Free Press

By Junious Smith III / Staff writer
Published: Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 07:14 PM.

A park enjoyed hundreds each day has become even more attractive to residents in the city.

Holloway Park has had new equipment installed, including new playground equipment and a football scoreboard.

Bill Ellis, director of the Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation department, said the renovations began in July and there should be more around the time school lets out.

“Right now, we’re working on raising money for a new concession stand and outdoor bathrooms, which would be completed by summer,” Ellis said. “One of the goals of the mayor and city council was to improve Holloway — the recreation department saw a need and it was supported.”

Melissa Morgan, director of the Holloway Recreation Center, said there will be a few things done to also approve appearance at the park.

“The fencing around the pool is going to be removed and there will be some black fencing put together as far as the beautification,” Morgan said.  “Also, the inside of the building is painted every year.”

Kinston City Councilman Robbie Swinson said he hopes to see even more changes to Holloway in the future.

“I’m glad we’re making changes and improvements here,” Swinson said. “A concession stand would be a real benefit to the residents and would be particularly useful during the football and softball seasons. We had some concerns from children about the diving boards, which were taken out because of pool regulations requiring a certain depth in the pool. I don’t know what will happen there to bring them back and don’t know the cost of another pool, but time will see.

“It would also be nice if we could get donors in the community to help carry the cost so we could have the pool cased similar to the Woodmen. I’d like to see that happen so there would be another pool the community could use year-round.”

Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy said comments from residents helped fuel the changes.

“The city of Kinston desires to have safe, reliable equipment for our children to use, which is why we made it a priority for upgrades at Holloway,” Murphy said. “It’s always important for the citizens to continue engaging in dialogue with the local government about needs in a specific area, block, and in this case, playground. We appreciate the feedback, which is one of the reasons this became a high priority for us.”

Kinston resident Patrice Johnson said the changes were evident, especially with the playground.

“I’m glad they’ve not only put the swings out, but also the ones for the babies,” Johnson said. “They’ve got better equipment here that’s far from rundown and the kids seem to enjoy it.”

My’Ayana Moore, 9, said the playground stuck out to her immediately.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “I like how they decorated it and how the stairs look. It’s colorful and beautiful.”

Zy’Kia Moore, 8, enjoyed the new structure as well.

“I think it’s pretty,” she said. “I like being able to slide on the slides and swing on the swings.”

Kinston City Councilman Sammy Aiken put Kinston’s recreation department in high regard.

“People say there’s nothing for the children to do here, and the recreation department Kinston has is one of the best in the state,” Aiken said. “There are a lot of activities here and hopefully, people will come out and make sure the facilities are up to par.”

Skeet Davis, an assistant director at Holloway and a decorated middle school coach, said the renovations will give the rec center and park even more versatility.

“It’s good to have the changes because we cater to a very large amount of people each day,” Davis said. “On a day where there aren’t any activities going on, we might have 200 to 300 kids out here.

Sometimes, the fences will be packed when there are games going on and there could be around 600 or 700. There are also multiple uses here besides the games. You could have a family reunion on one side and a wedding on another. J. Lin Dawson was going to have his (Coley Little STEM) leadership camp here before moving it to J.H. Sampson. We help a lot of people, and now even more people can use the facilities.”

There will be an event held in the near future according to Morgan.

“On (Saturday) Oct. 18, Kiss 102 will be holding a Stop The Violence rally from 1 to 3 p.m. at the center,” she said.

If you would like to give a donation to the Holloway Recreation Center, call Ellis at 252-560-1050.
Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.