Archive for April, 2010

Front Page Post and Courier: $2 Million

County panel agrees to spend $2 million on skate park
Dude, for real?
By David Slade
The Post and Courier
Saturday, April 3, 2010

This could be truly epic.

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission has agreed to spend $2 million to build a skate park — one of the largest on the East Coast– in downtown Charleston.

Two. Million. Dollars.

“It will be quite a large park,” said Shannon Smith, a local mom, teacher and avid skateboarder affiliated with the skate park advocacy group Pour It Now. “We’re shooting for 40,000 square feet.”

At that size, the skateboard park would dwarf the new Owens Field Skate Park in Columbia and would be the same size as the Louisville Extreme Park in Kentucky.

Plans call for creating the park on land along Morrison Drive just north of Huger Street, in the state-owned right of way below the Ravenel Bridge. The city of Charleston and Pour It Now are working with the county PRC on the plan.

The park plan was hailed by local skateboard enthusiasts, including 20-year-old Stephen Pond, who served a 90-day probationary sentence for skateboarding on a city street last year.

“We’ve been ready for a park for a long time,” said Pond, a College of Charleston freshman from Winston-Salem, N.C.

Pond said he and other skaters would use the park, but, he said, he’s not ready to give up skateboarding on city streets, which is illegal. He said he’s been skateboarding since he was about 11 and that his board gets him to classes and takes him on recreational outings.

After Charleston police ticketed him for skateboarding on St. Philip Street, Pond said he went to Charleston Municipal Court and was sentenced to probation.

“I stopped for 90 days, but I’m back,” he declared. “I use my board every day.”

The PRC’s decision Monday to fund the park follows about three years of on-and-off discussions between Charleston city officials and Pour It Now.

“We realized it would be an uphill battle to get the money that we needed, so we approached the PRC,” said Matt Compton, director of the city’s Parks Department. “Everything the county PRC does is first class, they don’t have a facility downtown, and this would allow them to fill a niche.”

The county has three water parks, several beach parks, boat landings, fishing piers, and even a bring-your-own-horse equestrian center, but no skate parks.

“For us, it’s not just a skate park,” said PRC Executive Director Tom O’Rourke. “We will try to include as many things there as possible; maybe some climbing features, or some fitness programs that take the Ravenel Bridge into consideration.”

Pour It Now members often have said that if a city doesn’t have a skate park, then the whole city is a skate park, a theory that was tested in a highly publicized 2006 video showing a skateboarder being shoved into a bush by a city police officer while skating atop a bench at Waterfront Park.

The city, which has a modest skateboard park in West Ashley, was interested in building a substantial skateboard park but didn’t have the funding for a large one.

“We wouldn’t have been happy with it, and we would have had to operate it,” Compton said. “The park they are contemplating would be one of the largest in the Southeast, so it’s sure to be an instant success.”

Like most Charleston County parks, it would not be free, and as with Mount Pleasant’s tiny skateboard park, skaters would be required to wear safety gear.

“We’re government, so it’s going to be really safe, and it’s going to cost money,” O’Rourke said.

How much money, he couldn’t say, but the hope is to keep admission fees reasonable and make money from hosting tournaments and selling concessions.

“That budget (approved by the PRC commission) starts in July 2010, so it’s not time to run out and buy the skateboards yet,” O’Rourke said.

Edward C. Fennell contributed to this report.

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Charleston City Paper Covers $2M Allocation to Charleston County Skatepark

Downtown skatepark gets $2 million
New Parks and Rec site will include other features
by Christina Janke

The Charleston County Parks and Recreation has approved $2 million to create a skatepark at the foot of the Cooper River Bridge, near Meeting and Huger St. “We’re very excited about this one,” says Executive Director Thomas O’Rourke. “We have enough funding for all of the skate features, which should probably take about $1.5 million alone.”

But they’re not going to stop at just concrete bowls, decks, and ramps. They plan to build a park approximately 40,000 square feet in size, complete with extra features accessible to non-skaters, including a climbing wall. They also plan to offer wellness programs like walking and bike paths that will pair well with the existing Ravenel Bridge walkway.

Getting approved for a project this big was just the first step. Park and Rec will collaborate with the City of Charleston and the Department of Transportation, which currently owns the property they want to build on. And since this project is for the community, the public will have a part in the design process, including surveys and at meetings.

“We will be giving the public every opportunity to put their two cents in,” says O’Rourke.

Work should begin this summer, but until then, skaters will have to be content with sidewalks and railings.

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The Digitel Covers $2M Allocation to Charlesto Skatepark

By Ken Hawkins, but enhanced by othersFiled Mar 31, 2010 at 10:33 pm
$2 million set aside for a downtown Charleston skate park

The Charleston City Paper
is reporting that for the first time in decades downtown Charleston may get a skate park thanks to a $2 million commitment by Charleston County Parks and Recreation.

Get the scoop on what, when, and why on their site.

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DIPT NYC Covers Charleston Skatepark $2M Allocation

NEW DIPT NYC ® NEWS: We have received word that $2 million has been set aside for a downtown Charleston skate park

We have word from our down South counterparts that the Charleston County Parks and Recreation has approved $2 million to create a skatepark at the foot of the Cooper River Bridge, near Meeting and Huger St. This has been an ongoing on/off conversation for some time now but it appears the plans are more concrete (no pun intended) at this point.

The park is set to consist of bowls, decks, ramps & more and is anticipated to to cover nearly 40,000 square feet in size with features also available to non-skaters. No word is official on the “other” features except for a climbing wall. The City of Charleston, Department of Transportation as well as the Park and Rec division will be collaborating on the effort and word is the public will have a part in the design process to some extent with work beginning this summer on the project. This is great to see in the area as there are many individuals who have been yearning for a spot like this to support the ever growing movement of skateboarding in the area & I am sure the crew over at Continuum will notice some pickup in business.

Source: The Digitel

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