The long-awaited Coral Park in Greenlawn had its official unveiling Friday.
The 2.8-acre park located on Broadway-Greenlawn at Leigh Street was first proposed in the late 1990s. The Town of Huntington's Environmental Open Space and Park Fund Review Advisory Committee appropriated $300,000 for the park around that time.
Since then, other new or renovated parks in the town have been priorities for a variety of reasons, including location, attractiveness to sports leagues and options for diverse recreation opportunities.
"It stayed stagnant for so long, but I worked hard to facilitate and make it happen," said town board member Susan Berland, who sponsored several resolutions that led to Coral Park's creation. "It's a great day for Greenlawn. This park will be used for many generations to come."
In 2011, the idea of the park was resurrected by then-town board member Glenda Jackson. Since then there has been discussion, opposition and community input before a plan was finally agreed upon.
Construction was recently completed on the playground, adult exercise area, basketball court, game tables and pavilion. The final price tag on the park was $855,000, all funded by the town, and came in $20,000 under budget.
"This was a no-brainer," said town board member Gene Cook, who co-sponsored several resolutions related to the park. "It was needed and should have been done years ago, but at least we finally got it done."
Tanya Simmons, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1967, said the park is a welcome addition.
"This is wonderful," she said. "It's been a long time coming; we needed it."
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said he knows the park will be used.
"We have children in this community that don't go to summer camp or who don't have after-school programs," he said. "It's truly a neighborhood park."