A major overhaul of the Etowah Skate Park off Kingston Road is one of the final recreation projects left to do from the 2017 SPLOST package.
Thursday night, Rome Floyd Parks & Recreation officials will conduct a public meeting to get input about the design of the project. It’s set for 6 p.m. at the Charles C. Parker Center in Etowah Park, 1325 Kingston Road.
Rome City Commissioner Mark Cochran with Cevian Design Lab — who grew up skateboarding on Broad Street — is donating his design services for the project. A company that specializes in skate park design was asking for $6,000 to take on the re-design.
The overall budget for the park upgrade is $150,000, said Parks & Rec Director Todd Wofford. It is coming from an earmark in the special purpose, local option sales tax package.
The skate park has been used extensively for years, often bringing together skateboarders from around the region.
“Some of those kids out there are pretty darned good,” Wofford said.
The skate park was built in 1995 using a grant from the sport apparel company Reebok, which, according to Wofford, was attempting to become a leader in the inline skates industry.
The original idea was that the facility would encourage growth of the sport and provide a specific place for kids who had been skating up and down the sidewalks downtown.
“We do need some upgrades and we’re on our second generation of folks skating there,” said Mary Hardin Thornton, special services manager for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Thornton said there will be two different preliminary designs for skateboarders to view at Thursday’s meeting.
One will involve what is known as the snake ring, which is the concrete mogul-filled ring around the inner surface of the skate park. The other will involve the inner surface.
“We want a lot of public input and are seeking suggestions about the design. We want you to be there,” Thornton said.