Skate Park Plans Unveiled

Information reprinted with permission of the Courier Times, local newspaper New Castle, Indiana www.thecouriertimes.com

Skatepark plans unveiled

Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:00 am

A preliminary design for a new skatepark and biking facility was unveiled at Monday’s meeting of the New Castle Parks Board.

Representatives from Hunger Skateparks of Bloomington made a presentationand showed those in attendance what such a facility might look like. 

The skatepark, which the city wants to build on the existing site of a public volleyball court just east of Baker Park, would feature three entrances and attractions designed for beginners, those with intermediate skills and skaters and BMX-type bikers with more advanced skill sets.

The 11,500 square foot skatepark would cost somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000. Those funds are currently being sought through grants and other sources.

Part of the process of drafting a five-year plan for the parks involved a community survey regarding features local citizens would like to see in city parks. A facility for skateboarders and bikers placed near the top of the survey results.

Construction of such a facility is contingent on securing the funding needed to build it.

Parks board president Patty Broyles has applied for a $250,000 in Food & Beverage Tax funds. If that request is granted, however, only part of the money would be used for a skatepark. Making park restrooms handicap-friendly and increasing security throughout the parks via video surveillance are prioritities that must first be addressed.

However, Mayor Greg York indicated he is committed to seeing this project move forward.

“If the funds aren’t here the first year we’ll have a plan A, B and C,” the mayor said. “It might takes us three years to get this built, but we’re going to go forward with whatever funds we get up front. It might be 20 feet of concrete and four rails, but we’re going forward with whatever money we get. If we don’t get all the money the first year, that doesn’t mean the project won’t continue. ... This is going to happen.”

The preliminary design displayed Monday was well received by park board members, the mayor and the skateboarders and biking enthusiasts in attendance.

“I think what they had was perfect,” Ben Carter, 17, of New Castle, said. “It was way more than I expected.”

Wes Huddleston, 29, New Castle, agreed.

“I think the park looked good. It was a good design for everybody. I don’t expect alot of change, everything they did in the design was pretty good.”

Huddleston also said if the city builds a quality skatepark it will be an economic benefit to the community. He noted that skateboarders and BMX-style bikers frequently travel long distances to visit skateparks and they spend money while there.

“I’ve been traveling to skateparks for almost 20 years now and every community we go to with a skatepark we always buy gas and go to restaurants, things like that. I definitely think it would help the community,” he said.

Anyone wishing to donate towards construction of a skatepark may do so by visiting or contacting New Castle Clerk-Treasurer Christy York. Her office is on the ground floor of the municipal building at 227 N. Main St. and her phone number is 765-521-6803.

Anyone thinking about conducting a fundraiser for this project is asked to appear before the parks board with their idea and to deposit the funds collected with the clerk-treasurer to make sure all monies raised are properly accounted for and used for their intended purpose.