The foundation board met Monday to discuss, among other topics, how to close the gap between $750,000 earmarked from the March 2011 special purpose local option sales tax and the $1.2 million construction cost, part of a master plan estimated at $38 million to complete, according to the park’s website.
Foundation president R.J. Patel said after the meeting that negotiations are under way.
“We are speaking to some good potentials that have asked us not to disclose (their names) until we reach an agreement,” he said. “We are in the process of, hopefully, by December coming up with a good portion of the gap funding, which is about half a million dollars.”
Another revenue stream may come from a fundraising website called Fund My Park.
“We just have to work out the details,” Patel said. “We haven’t agreed upon anything.”
After the meeting, Kennesaw resident Ron Stebenne, the foundation’s action sports consultant, said contributions from local businesses are welcome.
“We’re looking for whatever groups or commercial community might want to partner with us in a meaningful way,” he said.
Replacing the $25,000, 4-year-old “skate spot,” as the existing ramp is called on the park website, will encourage visitors of all ages to play together, Stebenne said.
“Every once in a while when I’ve gone there, there’s a mixture of teenagers, younger kids and parents,” he said. “I love seeing the older kids actually help the younger kids to skate. They teach them a trick, unsolicited. That’s really cool.”
Skating appeals to a wide range of ages, said Stebenne, who noted he prefers biking and swimming, and a larger park will give them more chances to practice.
“When you have a skate park of that size, you can accommodate more (skaters). Young adults and sometimes older people in their 30s and 40s still skateboard. I’ve seen people in their 70s skating,” he said. “So the larger skate park with the various components like the bowls and the pools will enable a variety of skaters.”
Stebenne said the larger park will also provide more configurations for various skate styles.
“The older generation typically likes the ‘bowls.’ So that area will attract that kind of group,” he said. “The other areas that are ‘street’ mimic some of the street components like stairs and rails. That attracts a lot of the younger people.”
Skate culture is a pipeline to other skills like art, science and math, he said..
“Those areas are not just play. There’s education involved. There’s a possibility of job creation,” Stebenne said about skateboard-making companies like one he founded in San Diego. “There are a lot of wonderful aspects to action sports, period.”
In other meeting news, Patel said the foundation is in talks with Life University to install outdoor fitness equipment for all ages plus special needs populations.