GRAND ISLAND, Neb. --  The children of a Central Nebraska city are enjoying the newest addition to a local park: a playground. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Pirnie Inclusive Playground in Grand Island happened on Wednesday.

Grand Island Campus President Dr. Marcie Kemnitz says the playground helps make Grand Island an enjoyable place to live and it prepared students for the workforce. 

“This project is an example of how we Central Community College meet our mission of maximizing student and community success. Yes, we’re about supporting students is our core, but the community is also our strength is in our middle name," said Kemnitz.

What started at an occupational therapy assistance program at Central Community college became reality.  Students were given the task to design a community project for people who aren’t able to participate fully in daily activities. 

Now, the 27,000-square-foot playground at Ryder Park is open after years of planning the $2.8 million multi-generational project.

Campaign Co-chair Katie Soto says countless families will benefit from the inclusive playground. 

“Building an all inclusive playground is more than just creating a space for children to play is about fostering a sense of belonging, acceptance and unity," said Soto. "It’s about ensuring that every child, regardless of their abilities, can experience the simple yet profound joys of childhood."

The playground includes experiences for three stages of development, with spaces designed specifically for children ages two to five, five to 11, and 12 and up. It also features sensory equipment, obstacle courses and inclusive entry equipment. 

Aurora resident Lori Mullarkey said she ran some errands this morning and promised her son they would stop by the playground on the way back home. 

“It’s amazing, like its one super beautiful and colorful which is exciting for the kids," Mullarkey said. "But they are loving the slides and the merry-go-round and just really they can access anything.”