Roanoke SkatePark feasibility study released

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - A grassroots organization in Roanoke is moving on with its plans. It'll be working with city leaders to build a new user-friendly skate park.

Keri Garnett is the executive director of the Roanoke StakePark Initiative. She and others are collaborating with Roanoke Parks and Recreation on creating a new skate park for the Star City.

"Currently, all the skaters in Roanoke have to go out of town when they want to skate," said Garnett. 

The SkatePark Feasibility Study shows Wasena Park was selected as the best location, based on input from the community. It's already the site of the current park that sits under the Wasena Bridge. Garnett says the current skate park has seen the end of life. 

"It was built with plywood and constructed with other materials that don't stand the test of time, which is why were advocating for a concrete park," said Garnett. 

Through public input meetings, consultants determined the type of skate park features residents desired by showing examples of other skate and BMX facilities around the world, and asking for recommendations on the park location. 

They also talked about possible amenities, cost and funding for such a park.

They hope the updated version will look similar to one in Bedford. The study cites designing a facility that allows for multiple experience levels and age groups.

"The first phase of this proposal is skateboarding only. It will be a smaller-size skate park. The second phase hopefully will have more room for a BMXing things like that," said Garnett. 

Funding the project is another step in the process.

"We've already raised around $25,000 from private donations. The next step will be have the city allocate some of their budget.

According to Garnett, City Council has until May to decide how much money it wants to include in the budget to pay for the skate park, which will be considered a city-owned park. 

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