MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - New security features have been added to the multi-million dollar Savannah's Playground in The Market Common area, a park which was specifically designed for children with disabilities.
In July, local company HTC committed to installing security cameras in the park after vandals destroyed areas around the playground. That work was taking place Tuesday morning while families enjoyed themselves.
"It's very unfortunate that vandalism did occur. However, through that criminal act, we were able to turn something bad into something good," said Nicole Hyman, marketing coordinator for HTC.
Five surveillance cameras will provide 180-degree views of the entire playground area. HTC donated the state-of-the-art equipment that costs thousands of dollars.
"Once installation is complete, the cameras will be tied back in to the Myrtle Beach Police Department," Hyman said.
While the installation continued, families were already enjoying the playground during its soft opening this week.
Parent Heather Villanueva said Savannah's Playground is a fantastic place for all children to enjoy.
"It keeps our kids busy and it gets them the extra exercise they need," she said. "Getting outside, it's a great, free entertainment for our children in Myrtle Beach."
The playground is named after Savannah Thompson, a young lady who lives in Myrtle Beach and was born with WillIams Syndrome. The enabling playground is designed to be easily accessible to all kids with disabilities.
Hyman said the company was looking for a way to help with the development of the playground, and the donation of the security features was a good tie-in for them to use their resources.
The playground, which is scheduled to have its official opening by Labor Day, was vandalized for the second time in July. Myrtle Beach police reported vandals tagged the area around the playground with names of characters from the popular Pokemon Go mobile game.
Parent like Villanueva said they feel safer knowing the cameras are there.
"I hate that it has to be there," she said. "We can't avoid the people that want to go out and destroy the great things in this world, but we can watch it. I think it's great."
Hyman said the cameras should be operating and recording by the end of the week.
"The security of this area is important, of course," she said. "It's a safety factor for our children and it's just a great way for HTC to connect with the community."