by Paul Bowers
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission is inviting the public to ask questions and provide input about a planned downtown skatepark.
The meeting will take place Sept. 12 in Edisto Hall at James Island County Park (871 Riverland Drive, Charleston). Here’s the agenda:
• 5:45 p.m.: Doors open for anyone who wants to preview the conceptual park design.
• 6 p.m.: Information session for the general public, followed by a public comment and Q&A session
• 7 p.m.: Design input workshop for people who are interested in specific skateable features of the park. Representatives from Team Pain, the company chosen to design the park, will be available to explain design concepts and take ideas from skaters.
The skatepark will be built near the intersection of Meeting and Huger streets downtown, and it’s a long time coming. Local skate advocacy group Pour It Now has been calling for a proper skatepark for years, and the CCPRC set aside $2 million from its own savings for the project in March 2010. But because the land is situated near overpasses for Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 17, the CCPRC had some difficulty getting the go-ahead from state and federal highway departments.
The skatepark finally entered the design phase in June. The design is expected to take a year, followed by less than a year of construction. Back in June, Team Pain designer Tito Porrata told the City Paper that the 40,000-square-foot park would likely include a long, street-style plaza, professional-level bowls, and mini-ramp bowls. Porrata also said the design team was tossing around the idea of building a flowing, ’70s-style snake run in the park.
Throughout the process, CCPRC Director Tom O’Rourke has been as amped as anyone about the park. In a press release about the Wednesday meeting, O’Rourke said, “Team Pain is one of the premier skate park designers in the world. For them to recognize this site as ‘one-of-a-kind’ makes us anxious to get them in front of the skaters who will be using the park.”