Kent to build skate park in spring

Leila Archer

Project estimated at $150,000

Skateboarders in Kent will have a place to call their own next July.

The city of Kent plans to break ground on a skate park next spring that may be finished by July 1, said John Idone, director of Kent Parks and Recreation.

The skate park will be located in Stonewater Park off state Route 59. The location is currently called Admore Park, but its name will most likely change to Stonewater when the Admore/Stonewater road extension is complete.

Council members accepted a grant from the NatureWorks Program of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for $14,997 to construct the skate park, according to the Nov. 4 City Council finance committee meeting minutes.

Idone said officials requested $25,000 and received just under $15,000 from the grant application.

The skate park will be built in several phases. The first phase will likely cost about $50,000, Idone said. He added that after its completion, officials will apply for additional funds to complete the project, which he estimates could cost about $150,000 depending on funding.

“That’s all dependent on getting additional grants,” he said.

Money from the Parks and Recreation capital fund will cover the rest of the costs. About half the total cost is budgeted to cover material to build the park.

“What we’re doing is we’re going with a prefabricated concrete, so probably 50 percent of the money is going to go toward the equipment itself and the rest toward the labor to install it,” Idone said.

During the first phase, ramps, grind rails, ledges and stairs will be built in a plaza style, he said.

Plans to build a fun site for children and teenagers have been discussed for nearly two decades.

“I have been on council for 18 years, and for 18 years I’ve had people complaining that they need someplace for the kids,” said Ward 3 councilman Wayne Wilson. “They go around and find anything they can to skateboard on, and it creates a lot of problems.

“The kids are trying to stay out of trouble; they just want a place they can go to.”

Joe Kastelic, owner of Evolution Skate Shop in Kent, said many skateboarders skate near his store, located on East Day Street.

“The police don’t give them any problem if they’re at the shop. They don’t get in trouble here, but some of them say they get in trouble at Kent State if they’re doing tricks.

“It will be good for them to have an actual park to skate in,” he said.

Kastelic said people frequently ask him if there is a skate park in Kent.

“I usually just tell them to go to Ravenna or Stow. But the local kids who don’t have cars that are too young to drive, they’re the ones that really need the park,” he said. “They can just skate to it from school or home or whatever.”

Kastelic said he thinks the addition of a skate park will be beneficial for local skateboarders.

“No one will have to worry about getting arrested or getting their skateboards taken away,” he said. “And it just gives them a place to skate and hang out.”

Kastelic, Wilson and Idone all said they have not heard any complaints or concerns from Kent residents regarding the construction of a skate park in the city.

Contact public affairs reporter Leila Archer at [email protected].