Huntsville skatepark now has a design, a concrete playground that should be completed in about a year with skateboarding lingo such as snake tracks, clover bowls, ledges and rails.
It came to life on Wednesday in a video presentation by designer Tim Payne, whose Team Pain skate parks are nationally renowned and Rocket City is looking for its skatepark to be the latest success story.
The park will be located near the south end of John Hunt Park and if a four wheel board is your idea of fun, then take your brain for a gnarly time.
“Our skateboarding community is much bigger than most people realize,” said John Hamilton, City of Huntsville Administrator.
Hamilton described this community as largely existing in the shadows in Huntsville which will change along with the skatepark.
“We want to bring you out of the shadows in a world class facility and meet your goals every day,” he said.
Wednesday’s event was the unveiling of what the park will look like and special features that, Payne said, will welcome skaters of all skill levels. A group of about 75 people watched the presentation in rapt silence as Payne walked through the intricacies of the park that only a skateboarder could perhaps fully appreciate.
He pointed out that the design essentially invites skateboarders to surf as soon as they enter the park, with each element connected by a concrete surface described as a street plaza.
Payne said the park will have a C-shaped track that flows into a clover bowl as well as a longer snake track on the other side with depths ranging from 3 to 10 feet. There will also be a ¾ hose as well as a combi flow bowl.
The park’s design took into account public feedback at two meetings in Huntsville and Payne, said the popular plan included the large, linear-style plaza-style street in the middle of the park. There are also beginner’s features throughout the park.
That’s not to say the skatepark won’t appeal to seasoned skateboarders. Skill level will be an attraction for top competitions, Hamilton said.
“This will allow us to attract world-class events and competitors,” he said. “Skateboarding is now an Olympic event. Quite frankly, we believe this facility represents the future of the sport at this kind of world-class competition. We love that we cater to the daily desires of our citizens with facilities that we can truly call world class.
The skatepark itself will cost around $ 2 million and the money is collected through donations. When the city announced plans for the park, an undisclosed donor donated $ 1 million for the project. The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is a partner in the project and its CEO, Melissa Thompson, announced Wednesday that it has received a challenge grant of $ 500,000 which, if matched, would essentially cover the cost.
The City of Huntsville is investing around $ 4 million in the John Hunt Park skatepark area – much of it in skatepark infrastructure as well as rebuilding Kids Space, a popular shaded playground for children.