MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents in Berkeley County with special needs currently have to drive 30 to 45 minutes to Charleston or Dorchester County for inclusive sports leagues.
But Moncks Corner will soon join Summerville and Charleston by building a Miracle League Park.
“There are 4,400, over 4,400 students with exceptionalities in Berkeley County. So this will bring an opportunity for all children to be able to come and play,” Becky Ellison, Recreation Director for the Town of Moncks Corner said.
The Miracle League Park will have a rubber turf field that makes it easier for those with wheelchairs or walkers to move around.
The town plans to have baseball leagues throughout the year for those with all abilities. They will have a "minor league" for kids and a "major league" for adults.
“What this brings to Moncks Corner is that it brings community as well as it brings, it allows recreation to expand for all. So it allows where every child will have an opportunity to play as well as the adults,” said Ellison.
Ellison added that this baseball league will give children and adults the opportunity to learn teamwork, determination, and perseverance through playing sports with no barriers.
The new Miracle League Park is partially funded by the money the Berkeley County school district received from a recent settlement.
In April 2019, BCSD was awarded $2.2 million after the State and U.S. Attorney’s Office found that Brantley Thomas, the chief financial officer for the school district, stole $1.4 million in total from the district.
BCSD decided to put some of the money from the settlement towards special needs programs in the district.
$100,000 will be going towards the Miracle League Park in Moncks Corner.
BCSD used another $300,000 from this settlement to improve special needs accessibility at school playgrounds around the county.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at Berkeley Elementary School on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. for the new playground equipment.
The Town of Moncks Corner says other county businesses, churches, and individuals have donated to the future baseball park, but they still need more money.
They are currently asking for donations to their capital campaign. The project is set to cost $1.5 million. You can donate here.
Construction on the park is expected to start by 2021.
The town says the park is just phase one of a two-part project at the Moncks Corner Regional Recreation Complex. After the baseball field is complete, they plan to build an all-inclusive playground, which will go right next to the field.