CRESTVIEW — The city’s skating fraternity could be Ollying, tail sliding and grinding in a $70,000, city-run skateboard park if Public Works Director Wayne Steele’s preliminary research bears fruit.
Steele presented the concept of a Twin Hills skate park to the Community Redevelopment Agency board during its Monday evening meeting. The board unanimously approved directing Steele to pursue more information so he could prepare requests for proposals for the city to issue.
Steele reported that a glade in the park’s southwest corner, also considered for a dog park, excited Sanford-based CHP Engineering firm representatives and raised potential for a skate park.
“They thought it was a great location because of the topography and the retention pond already there, there would be very little site work needed,” Steele said.
The firm said construction would cost approximately $30-35 per square foot.
“We could make a real nice park of 2,000 square feet,” Steele said. “That’s $70,000.”
The notion of having a skate park as an alternative to kids practicing on public streets or shopping center parking lots has been raised on several occasions. The Main Street Crestview Association has advocated a downtown skate park to attract residents to the city’s historic heart after hours.
Steele said that after Crestview City Council members attended the recent Florida League of Cities conference, several engineering firms contacted him.
“Some of them were one-time callers and some very, very persistent,” Steele said. “One of the persistent firms was CPH.” CPH has offices throughout the state, including one in Panama City. The company built a well-received 8,000-square-foot skate park in Milton, Steele said.
Twin Hills Park is in the CRA district and the project could be funded through CRA funds, Steele said. After receiving assurances from board member Tim Grandberry — who had discussed the matter with skate park operators at the Florida League of Cities conference — that the city’s liability insurance costs would not rise, the board expressed support for the project.
“I’ve seen children on the streets with their skateboards, and with their parents,” board member Charles Baugh Jr. said. “I asked them, ‘If there was a city skate park, would you bring your children over to it?’ and they all said, ‘yes.’ I’d rather have them in a skate park than on our streets.”
Board member Robyn Helt also assured dog lovers that the dog park proposal was not being abandoned.
“We have not given up the idea of a dog park, but we have discussed other locations,” she said.