By Nathan Ham
Skating enthusiasts in Boone received good news last Thursday when the Boone Town Council unanimously approved a site for a skate park near the Greenway Trail.
A presentation was put together for the town council members as well as some public comments stating their support for the park.
Skaters in Watauga County had previously been using a sort of “DIY” skate park that was located at the former Watauga High School location. However, Appalachian State University purchased that property and officially closed on the deal Sept. 29, 2017. The skate park will be torn down as part of App State’s expansion on the property.
Now it appears that skaters in the area will still be able to keep practicing their craft at a location off of the Greenway near the wastewater treatment facility and the south fork of the New River. The town already owns the land for the proposed skate park.
Nick Williams, the director of external affairs for Appalachian State’s Student Government Association spoke to the council in support of the park.
“This has been an effort that is long overdue. This is something we have heard about from students at Appalachian State for a long time,” he said. “I think the proposed site would offer a safe and healthy environment for skateboarders in Boone.
The skate park location will also be within a reasonable walking distance for Watauga High School students, making it easy for both college and high school students to be able to use the facility.
The “Cruzin’ Committee,” a group of concerned citizens working to build support for a skate park, was authorized by Boone’s Transportation Committee to put together a proposal for the park. The presentation to the council was made by J.P. Pardy, owner of Recess Skate and Snow, who is one of several local business owners that support the committee and their desires for a permanent skate park in Boone.
The proposal stated that the expected cost would be no more than $25,000.
The nearest skate park to Boone is located in Morganton, which is roughly an hour drive each way. By providing a skate park in Boone, skaters will not have to travel down the mountain and will have a place where they can legally skate.
“This will promote healthy and affordable recreation as well as provide a fantastic outlet for youth,” said Pardy. “Not only is this needed for our community, but it will attract a new tourist demographic which will help boost our local economy.”
The council approved a budget amendment to allow for up to $25,000 for the concrete pad that the park construction will be built on. The committee hopes to secure the rest of the construction work though in-kind donations.