BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Several years ago, Biloxi City Council member Dixie Newman organized an effort to replace aging playground equipment at Hiller Park.
Newman's vision will soon become a reality when from Ruiz Construction begins tearing down decades old playground equipment at the park on Wednesday.
"Actually, it came about with Dixie Newman, who first came to me and said, 'Sherry, I want to improve the park. What do I need to do.' I said the first thing we need to do is get new playground equipment," said Sherry Bell, recreation director for the City of Biloxi.
What followed was a series of special events and fundraisers. Newman organized a citizens committee that evolved into the nonprofit group, Friends of Hiller Park.
"Long time coming. We've all worked so hard, so we're just so excited. It's like a dream come true," said Newman.
As she watched the crews clear away the old to make way for the new and improved, Newman reflected on how the improvement project was conceived.
"When I was going door to door, when I was running, I realized how important Hiller Park really was to the residents," Newman said.
The turnaround will happen quickly on the $50,000 project. Once the demo work is complete, new equipment will be installed on Friday.
"I can't tell you how many people said they were excited about the playground, and couldn't wait because the other one was hazardous and they didn't want their children on it," said Newman.
IP Casino and Shaggy's are also partners in the project.