Kennesaw skate park construction ramps up
by Rachel Miller
September 06, 2013 12:29 AM | 6921 views | 13 13 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction Superintendent Sirgio Acosta works the backhoe to dig a 10-foot-deep skate bowl at Swift-Cantrell Park. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Construction Superintendent Sirgio Acosta works the backhoe to dig a 10-foot-deep skate bowl at Swift-Cantrell Park.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
KENNESAW — There will not be a day wasted as construction wraps up on the first portion of the new skate park inside Swift-Cantrell Park and the second phase is started.

The first phase of the almost $2 million skate park off Old U.S. 41 included a “street league” plaza, with rails, ramps and stairs as obstacles running through the course.

The second phase will add a “flow course” that is similar to a curvy, empty pool and a separate bowl that is a uniform hole 10 feet deep in the center.

Both features have edges along the top for skaters to hang their boards as they roll up.

Additional parking, lighting, restrooms and landscaping will be the last elements to be finished.

A rainy summer season has delayed the project that is now expected to be completed in November, weather permitting.

The decision to start construction on the second phase immediately after finishing the first will save the city thousands of dollars, according to the project manager.

“The city will save over $25,000 in set-up costs that would be required if the contractor left and returned at a later date,” said Jeff Drobney, the skate park project leader and assistant city manager.

The 40,000-square-foot, free public skate park will have approximately 25,000 feet in skateable surface.

The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million, with $1.4 million approved by voters as part of the 2011 SPLOST. The remaining $400,000 is being raised privately from corporate grants or sponsorships.

Professional venue could draw thousands

Matt Mazza, 24, and Wesley Lembo, 19, both live in Kennesaw and are employees for Ambush Board Co., a sports retailer based in Kennesaw since 1997 that offers skateboard apparel and gear.

Mazza said the skate park will have large elements that make it a professional-level skate park.

“Everything there is really going to make kids push themselves,” Mazza said.

Lembo said it will be a great venue to do multiple tricks without stopping or pausing, which is how competitions run.

“You can continuously hit piece after piece,” Lembo said.

Being able to have large-scale skateboarding competitions will bring revenue into Kennesaw, while also allowing area youth to see the level of talent it takes to get sponsorships and win championships, Lembo said.

If nothing else, Lembo said a state-of-the-art skate park will keep kids off of private property where they are chased away from businesses by the police.

“Instead of having someone in your face telling you to get out, kids can skate at the park all day long,” Lembo said.

Community park

Mayor Mark Mathews said there is a high level of enthusiasm all over the Atlanta metro area for the Kennesaw skate park.

“There is a tremendous amount of pent up demand from the skateboarding community for a facility in this area,” Mathews said.

Mazza and Lembo said some customers of Ambush Board, at 2555 Cobb Place Lane off Barrett Parkway, have been asking about the skate park, but other shoppers from outside Cobb County have not heard about the soon-to-open facility.

Mazza, who has been skateboarding for 10 years, said he goes to the nearest skate park in Dunwoody, but is anxious to have a premium complex at Swift-Cantrell Park that is only a mile away from his home in Kennesaw.

Lembo said he remembers talks beginning about the need for a skate park in Cobb County when he was in middle school.

“This park has been in the making for 10 years,” Lembo said.

The Rob Dyrdek Foundation, founded in 2003 to promote communities building skate plazas, was involved at the concept-level for the skate park at Swift-Cantrell, according to city spokeswoman Pam Davis.

Davis said Rob Dyrdek, a professional skateboarder, entrepreneur and reality TV star, was a “huge supporter” of the Swift-Cantrell skate park.

The Rob Dyrdek Foundation funded the design of the skate park by SITE Design Group Inc., out of California.

Davis said she expects The Rob Dyrdek Foundation to get involved with the grand opening, bringing out professional skateboarders to demonstrate the equipment.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Educated Taypayer
September 24, 2013
Fun fact of the day: football, baseball, basketball, dare I say walkers/joggers. What do they all have in common? They all have a smaller following than skateboarding. Feel free to research it yourself.

So - as a taxpayer myself - it seems this is a much healthier and worthwhile investment for the community than MORE tennis courts or MORE soccer fields. Idle minds are dangerous minds, and if there is one thing this skatepark will guarantee, it's fewer idle minds.
September 23, 2013
September 15, 2013
I welcome the skate park. However, I wish that the empty pool that they will have would have a twin that wasn't empty for the rest of us.

Swimming pools (with water) are great for people of all ages. What about the rest of us Mr. Mayor? Do you still want to "just forget" about the aquatic center? The one that you rejected because you didn't like the proposed roof?

Cherokee county has a lovely new aquatic center. One which is overcrowded because of its high demand. Why do you think that is??
September 08, 2013
People throughout the county are struggling to make ends meet in a down economy, and the county is spending this money on a skate park. What a wasteful extravagance!

This is not the place for govt. on any level, to be spending taxpayer dollars. The private sector can do this if the demand is there. If not, then it should not be.
Concerned Taxpayer
September 07, 2013
Gross abuse of taxpayer dollars. Will also ruin the use of the park for adults, walkers/runners, and pet owners. Traffic messes, derelicts, and vandalism/crime can be expected. Will cost taxpayers plenty more in maintenance/repairs, crime, vandalism, and lack of security.
Anon 2
September 12, 2013
Wow the skatepark isn't even finished yet ,but you already know about the bad that is going to take place there.

I remembered reading past articles about a possible basketball park and the upcoming skate park and how many gross generalizations coming from them. It's funny how people let their prejudices impair their common sense. Everytime I look at the news and hear about murders, home invasions, rapes, vandalism etc,it never comes from skateboarders and basketball players. Its sometimes the guy we least expect.

Believe it or not, skateboarders are also taxpayers They have a right to have a professional skatepark just like other people having dog parks ,walking trails and playgrounds.

Even if the skateboarders become unruly, you still can't judge all of them the same as not all skateboarders act alike. Go to some festivals and outdoor concerts and you'll see some of the same kinds of people there as you dread with this skate park. It's not a waste giving the people something to do.
Voice of Reason
September 24, 2013
Perhaps you should spend more time researching and less time judging. Are you aware of the Gwinnett County's success of with their public skateparks? I didn't think so.
Loss of family space
September 06, 2013
So the beautiful Swift Cantrell Park is now going to be half filled with concrete. Even better, one of the few parks where residents can go play, picnic, take walks is going to potentially be the site of large scale competitions. Once again, what was green and beautiful and a quiet, outside place for families is just another money-making concrete venture.
September 06, 2013
the other side of the park is available as well if you can't see. If you even knew what kids that skateboard go through to not get put down by people like yourself. You probably wouldn't have said what you have said.
papa chum
September 07, 2013
Are you kidding me? The small area of concrete will create a space that kids of today will enjoy for decades. And keep them off private property where skateboarding is outlawed. Hats off to the entire Kennesaw community and officials for agreeing to build this beautiful park. Kennesaw Mountain is close by if you are looking for a nature walk.
September 07, 2013
Snitch Please
September 06, 2013
Does anyone know, will this be a revenue maker for the city? Is the $400K already committed?
Kennesaw Bill
September 07, 2013
I find it strange that the Atlanta Haws gave the city 30,000 dollars to build a basketball court but the city claimed that they didn't have the money to complete it. Seems to have no problems getting up the money for a million dollar skate park. My common sense will not allow me to not see the real reason they didn't want a basketball court. Its a shame because basketball is the sport that will help you lose weight. Now we have a skate park that will quickly fill up with potheads. I know that it is suppose to be a money maker but exactly how? the hotels in Kennesaw are fill with meth addicts and ex-cons.
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