Skate park set for construction in Greensboro

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2007

GREENSBORO &8212; As part of a third phase of the reconstruction of Lions Park, four Auburn University Rural Studio students plan to build a skate park, tentatively scheduled for opening by next April.

Joey Aplin, Lindsey Butler, Andrew Vu and Adam Woodward have been working on the park as a part of their thesis project since 2006, but have continued to stay on well past their graduation date to see the project come to fruition. The 6,500 square foot area is set to house a variety of boxes, half pipes, Eurogaps and half pipes, which are all popular elements of skate parks.

Aplin&8217;s teammates added he was already a part of the local skating scene and had set up a makeshift ramp when they decided to go forward with the project.

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Lions Park is used primarily for baseball during the year. After getting involved with the local skateboarding scene, Aplin saw a need in the community, which the park could help to facilitate.

After some discussion, the team expanded their project to include construction of a $90,000 skate park made entirely out of concrete. Where previous phases included refurbishing fields, creating concession stands and bathrooms, it was this group&8217;s task to take on the landscaping of the park, including a large walking trail accessible throughout the year by the community.

After coming up with several designs and assessing the needs of the project, the group turned their focus on landscaping the front area of the park facing Hall Street. One part of this area is designated for the skate park to be housed.

The chosen material for the project, concrete, was an important decision according to Vu. He said it is a low maintence material that community members won&8217;t have to worry about deteriorating. It also eliminates noise pollution, which is another common complaint among those who appose the building of skate parks. The team decided to use concrete after visiting other skate parks in the area to determine what worked and what didn&8217;t.

The closest skate park to Greensboro is in Demopolis near the city landing, but its elements are made of steel, which, according to Vu is an unforgiving surface to skate on.

Furthermore, Vu pointed out they are architecture students, which lends itself to a certain level of creativity with every project and undertaking.

Before any work can be done on the park, the team must secure the funds for the construction of the park, which they hope to do with some grants and donations.