Luray community comes together to help build Restoration Park

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - A major community project is officially underway in Luray. The West Luray Rec Center is working with several local contractors to build the Luray Restoration Park which would bring some new recreation options to the town.

“Especially on the west end of Luray but in general I think coming out of COVID there’s a huge need for kids to get outside, to have fun, have that fresh air, and just enjoy themselves. We’re limited in places where that can be done,” said Audre King, founder and former director of the West Luray Rec Center.

The park will be built on a large piece of land behind the Rec Center that has been unused for years but the ambitious project is now underway as the Rec Center works with community members to build the park.

“I’m a man of faith and a man of vision. I believe if you have the vision and the faith to believe it everything always comes into place. So right now we’re building our playground area for our kids that should be done by June so they can get in there immediately in the summer and begin playing,” said King.

King is the pastor of the ER Church in Luray and founded the Rec Center five years ago. Work on the park began when he and a few other people in the community began clearing trees on the property before more help arrived.

“We started cutting down trees and from there we literally had contractors stop by and ask what we were doing and give us quotes. They jumped on board, and they said ‘you know what pay us what you can when you can, we have kids and we want our kids to enjoy this’,” said King.

Part of the land the park will be built on was already owned by the Rec Center but King said a neighboring family and the Town of Luray also donated adjunct pieces of property for the project. The park will be built in three phases beginning with the playground and pavilion area which is already being excavated by local contractors.

“The second phase is, we’re gonna put a high school regulation basketball court. Now the interesting thing about this basketball court is it’s going to be fully lit so that kids can come at any time of the night and play which is something we don’t have in Page County,” said King.

The final and most ambitious phase of the plan is King’s hope to build Luray’s first public swimming pool at the park.

“Over the span of my life, people have said we’re tired of going all the way to Stanley or all the way to New Market to have a pool. We had thought originally to put the playground and the basketball court down in this two acres of land we have and the more I got to looking at it I just saw a pool,” he said.

King said that the project has already been bringing people together.

“There are people that may take 211 and never come through this side of town. There are people who maybe have never thought to help with a project like this but they see the vision and they want to be a part of history being made and so everyone is joining together,” he said.

With the first phase of the park expected to be complete in June, the hope is to finish the basketball court in late fall or early winter 2023. The pool will likely not be completed for at least two years.

Anyone interested in helping with the project can contact King via Facebook.