Location of Skate Park Up in the Air - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR--Brett Garrett Reports

Location of Skate Park Up in the Air

January 14, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--On hold....that's the word on plans that would bring a new skate park to Jonesboro. It would replace the one that was illegally destroyed by a local businessman in August of 2004. Much like basketball, baseball, and football players skateboarders have a zeal for their sport.

"Pretty much we're just trying to have fun, a lot of people think all we do is drugs and stuff but that isn't the case I have never done drugs and I don't want to," said skateboarder Stephen Lambert.

Over the last couple decades the sport has grown in popularity and Jonesboro is looking to use the money received from when the last skate park was destroyed to build a brand new one.

"These kids need a focus they are passionate about their sport we would like to provide venues that are accessible to them," said Parks and Recreation Director Jason Wilkie.

"I would like it if there were a lot more skate parks around here because there are only two of them," said Lambert.

The proposed new skate park would be a little different than the one located in Allen Park. The new park would have equipment designed for beginners while the one in Allen Park has some deeper pools and equipment designed for the expert skater.

"More street elements that would accommodate more beginner skaters then when they get more sophisticated they can move on to Allen Park," said Wilkie.

Wilkie and the Parks Department sat down with local skaters and members of the community to decide on what elements should go into the new park.

"We have been waiting on the restitution money to come in and that came in and we had $22,000 to buy the ramp equipment so we are hoping to move pretty quickly with this but the land is the issue," said Wilkie.

Several locations have been proposed for the park and in the next couple weeks there are plans to hold town hall meeting to look at the possibilities, with one of the most discussed sites being the current location downtown.

"There has been so much opposition it's looking like it probably won't be an option but that is for the Mayor and the City Council to decide," said Wilkie.

The goal of the meeting is to come up with a solution that will accommodate the skaters as well as a location that is agreeable to community members.

"If some options come out of this public hearing that we have we might be able to move forward in 6 to 9 months if there are no good options it could be a year and a half," said Wilkie.

One potential option with the equipment that's being looked at is to temporarily set up the park downtown until a permanent location can be found.  


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