New Ocean-Themed Playground Opens at Lake Park in Carolina Beach

Projects | May 13, 2024


Community Celebrates Opening of Brandy Myers Playground

CAROLINA BEACH, NC—The Carolina Beach community gathered at Lake Park to unveil the new Benesch-designed Brandy Myers Memorial Playground. The aquatic-themed playground is named in honor of Brandy Myers, who passed away from leukemia in 1987 at just 10 years old. Featuring accessible equipment for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy, the new playground ensures that Brandy’s legacy lives on.

Spanning 18 acres, Lake Park is the most popular park in the community and surrounds the closest freshwater lake to the ocean. After years of use, recent dredging of the lake and changing building codes, the town of Carolina Beach hired Benesch to develop a master plan to improve the existing park. During the public engagement process, an accessible playground was identified as a priority for the park.

Benesch was commissioned to design the one-of-a-kind playground that would inclusively serve the community’s children without obstructing lake views for other parkgoers. “The new ocean-themed playground is designed with a low profile to fit in seamlessly with the natural surroundings,” said Benesch Project Manager Jeff Ashbaugh, PLA. “From above, it resembles a stingray swimming.”

Sting Ray Shaped Playground in North Carolina

The design also had to take into consideration the area’s shallow water table. “We encountered shallow water during construction, so we had to quickly and collaboratively create a new solution to construct the footings for the entrance sign,” said Project Manager Joe Pung, PLA, LEED AP. “In the end, we came through with a playground the children can enjoy for years to come.”

In addition to the design, Benesch assisted the Town with construction documents, procurement of the playground vendor, shade structures material selection and other professional services.

The playground was made possible through a generous donation by Brandy’s parents Caron Myers and Danny “Chocolate” Myers, a former NASCAR pit crew member. The Myers family donated one million dollars to the General Assembly State Capital Infrastructure fund (SCIF) as a memorial to Brandy. Additional funding was obtained from the NC Land and Water Conservation fund.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 10 to celebrate the official opening of Brandy Myers Memorial Playground. The project team will continue to upgrade the park’s facilities as part of the master plan, including the construction of a new restroom facility to better serve visitors.