Plans for a new skate park in Keystone Heights ramped up when the city decided on a new location.
The park was originally planned at Nature Park across from Keystone Heights City Hall, but it will be moved to the corner of Southwest Nightingale Street and Sunrise Boulevard, where another skate park was planned years ago.
Keystone Heights City Manager Scott Koregay said the city council decided Nature Park wasn’t a good location for the skate park. The Starke Journal reports Mayor Tony Brown supports the move because Nature Park is a common destination for weddings and other activities that did not fit with a skate park.
The new location was originally deemed unsuitable because it was isolated and not well-supervised, Koregay said. However, there are now plans to expand the park into a large recreational area, and the skate park will be a nice addition.
Although the city received a $50,000 grant to help fund the new park, it will need to reapply for the new location, Koregay said.
“Since the grant was site-specific, we had to decline the grant that we were awarded,” Koregay said.
He said the city will reapply this summer and expects to get the same amount. No start date will be set for construction until the city receives a new grant.
But one skateboarder said he doesn’t believe the new location is ideal because of its size.
“The place is small, but if they could … open it all up and expand it all, that would be cool,” said local skater Riley Gebhart, who was involved in getting the development of the skate park approved.
Approval for the skate park was granted in March 2014 by the full city council. However, members of the skating community said that aside from reconsidering the location, little progress has been made since receiving the grant funding this past summer. Gebhart said a skate park is desperately needed in their community due to the large group of skateboarders and lack of recreational space in Keystone Heights.
“Giving us somewhere local to skate would keep us out of a lot of trouble and give us something to do,” said Jade Wolfe, another member of the skating community who helped get the park approved.