CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Beginning soon, shoppers at Charleston Town Center Mall will have a place to take their small children to play.
The mall's play area, a space of about 940 square feet called Play Patch, will open in December, mall officials said Tuesday. The area will be on the first floor across from JC Penney.
The area, sponsored by Charleston Area Medical Center, will feature a fruits-and-vegetables theme. The area will have soft play equipment shaped like fruits and vegetables for children to climb on, crawl through and slide down. It will also have seating for parents, a shoe keeper with a hand sanitizer dispenser, and a retractable barrier to close the area for regular cleaning.
"We think this will be a great thing for parents to bring their kids to," said Thomas Bird, the mall's general manager.
The play area is being built in Colorado and will be onsite Dec. 10, Bird said. The mall will hold a grand opening for the area Dec. 17.
The addition of the play area comes as the mall, nearing its 30th anniversary, is making renovations that include new flooring, handrails and a new fountain in the shopping center's Center Court. The mall's owners -- Forest City Enterprises, of Cleveland, and the Cafaro Co., of Youngstown, Ohio -- are putting $7 million into the renovations, Bird said.
CAMC is funding the play area, along with a family restroom, for an undisclosed amount.
Dr. Jamie Jeffrey, medical director of the Children's Medicine Center at CAMC, said Play Patch will be a safe, enclosed area for children to be active while their parents rest and watch them. The area is geared toward children under age 6.