DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — A new expansion to Sergeant Terrence Carraway Memorial Park in Darlington will provide a gathering place for public events.

The upgrades are just one part of the city’s ongoing revitalization efforts.

“If you can’t see it from over there, I am so excited just to be a part of this from the beginning to right now and see it come to fruition,” Darlington City Councilwoman Elaine Reed said.

The park is named for Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway, who died after being shot in the line of duty in October 2018 in Florence. Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigator Farrah Turner also died in the shooting that wounded five other officers.

Darlington officials conducted a ribbon-cutting for the new stage before the start of its first event. Praise in the Park, featuring food trucks and music from local school choirs, will happen every month.

“As the representative from this area, this has been like a dream,” Reed said.

The stage has been in the works for about a year, and Reed said she hopes it will be a place for families to spend time together.

“Darlington is transitioning,” Reed said. “We have had lots of crime. The city putting in projects that can help is part of the solution to that.“

She said the new stage is one of several projects happening in Darlington. Other projects include downtown streetscaping efforts and abandoned building renovations. Reed said the projects are aimed at attracting new businesses and keeping residents from moving away.

“You’ve got to improve it, you’ve got to make it inviting, and this is what our focus is,” she said.

Reed credits the city council, mayor and several other organizations for making the stage and other projects a reality.

“With an active council and a focus in mind, these things can happen,” Reed said. “We now know we are on the road to recovery.“

The Terrence F. Carraway Foundation will sponsor a screening of “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” at the stage on May 13.