East End Celebration Station opens with fresh look

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Multiple groups took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a brand new playground opened on Charleston’s East End.

The City of Charleston, Kanawha County Schools, the Charleston Rotary Club, and Piedmont Elementary School all gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new Celebration Station.

“It has been incredible to see the transformation of Celebration Station from a playground needing new equipment to being this vibrant accessible space for all of our community members to enjoy,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin.

The station includes an area specifically for Piedmont Elementary School students and another area which is open to all in the community. The new playground includes new swings, standalone play sets, seating areas and other usable equipment.

The Celebration Station also features original art work from three local artists Melissa Doty, Nichole Westfall and Blake Wheeler. The work is commissioned by the Charleston Rotary Club with support from Charleston Creativity Connections and the city’s Office of Public Art. The original Celebration Station wall located along Quarrier Street was repainted by local artist Ryan Hurlbutt.

“We sincerely thank all those involved in making this updated space a reality for our children in this area,” said Dr. Tom Williams, superintendent of Kanawha County Schools. “We know that so much work went into this and we thank all those involved. This was truly a team effort.”

Funding for the playground project eclipsed over $575,000. A campaign from the Charleston Rotary Club raised $153,010.

“The Charleston Rotary Club is honored to be a catalyst for the restoration of this community treasure,” said Dr. Michelle Foster. “We are thankful to our donors and project partners for their unwavering commitment to seeing this project finally come to fruition.”

The City of Charleston contributed $300,000 to the Celebration Station. Kanawha County Schools provided funding for fencing, paving, lighting, and other necessary areas of the playground space.

Piedmont Elementary students also raised nearly $125,000 on their own.