If you haven’t walked or driven down the streets of Williamsburg lately, then you probably ought to stop and take a look at how things were while you still have the chance.
Times are changing and over the next three years or so, we are probably looking at more development and changes than have been seen in the last 30 years in Williamsburg. Here are a few examples.
A groundbreaking ceremony is planned April 24 for the new $18.9 million Whitley County Judicial Center that will be built at the corner of Main and Second streets.
Work is tentatively set to be finished late next month on the new Williamsburg City Hall that will open at the corner of Main and Fifth streets.
Dedication ceremonies are planned for April 18 for the new terminal building at the Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport that will also be the new home for the Whitley County 911 Dispatch Center, and ground will be broken soon at the airport for the new Whitley County EMS base.
The Kentucky Splash Waterpark will be unveiling its newest attraction, a still unnamed pair of twisting slides, when the park opens for the season Memorial Day Weekend. It will be the first major change since the park was completed in 2001.
Sooner or later – probably later at the rate they are going – the newly designed Exit 11 interchange will be completed in addition to work to widen Highway 92W.
Like it or not, change is coming to Williamsburg, and overall, it’s a good thing.
Sure, certain sacrifices will have to be made, like demolition of the old jail and city hall. Progress has its price, but a town that isn’t growing is normally a community that is dieing just a little bit at a time.
Hopefully with this progress will come new jobs, businesses and opportunities for local residents.
It’s going to be an interesting next few years in Whitley County, and its nice to see progress at work.
Now, onto some other thoughts that have been rattling around in my head:
• I don’t know if Congressman Hal Rogers will reach his goal of having 20,000 people participate in the annual PRIDE spring clean-up this month, but thanks to the efforts of local residents, he’s got a good start.
Over 1,100 people turned out Friday for the Williamsburg clean-up, according to Mayor Roddy Harrison. On Saturday, about 350 people turned out to help clean-up Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, and the road leading to it.
Good job Whitley and McCreary counties, and let’s hope we can keep this up.
Since its inception in 1997, PRIDE has gone a long way toward educating the public and changing attitudes about dumping garbage and littering.
While we still have a long way to go, but you can see noticeable progress. It’s a program that is making a difference.
• By now, nearly everyone knows that the University of Kentucky has hired John Calipari as its men’s basketball coach. (For those that don’t, just go back to living under your rock.) U.K. sent a private plane to Memphis last week to pick-up Calipari and bring him and his family to Lexington.
What you probably don’t know is that the pilot, who flew Calipari to Lexington, has local roots. Whitley County native Jason Durham, who was working for the R.J. Corman Group, piloted the plane. This is according to former Kentucky Aviation Commissioner and ex-Whitley County Airport Board Chairman Paul David Steely, who dropped me a line Friday. Thanks Paul David.