Lubbock got a jump start on plans for a premiere skate park on Tuesday night. The skate park committee held a design session, seeking advice from 'experts', the skaters themselves.
The kids say there are a lot of good places to bike, board and blade, they're just not allowed to go there. "There's no place to skate in Lubbock. You get kicked off everywhere you go," says one skateboarder.
What's worse, according to the kids, is that they're also getting tickets for trespassing and vandalism. That's something parents are fed-up with. "They need a place because most of 'em are serious. They're not out here to tear things up. They're doing it because they love it. They're just skating," says one parent.
So now, parents, kids and a few community leaders are planning the first ever Lubbock skate park. It will be built at Stubbs Park and a second much larger regional skate park is planned for McAlister Park. Representatives from the design and construction firm were in town to get an idea of what Lubbock kids wanted in order to customize and tailor the park to Lubbock's needs.
"There's an immediate need in Lubbock," says Damon Spohn, with the design team Spohn Inc. out of Los Angeles. Plans will now go back to California where the design team will finalize things. The park will be built later this year. The larger McAllister Park is expected to be complete in 2005.
It's a sport that continues to grow in popularity, now the nation's third largest participation sport among kids 6 to 18, statistics highlighting the need for parks. "Every city in the U.S., if they haven't already done it, they're gonna do it. These are the basketball courts of the new millennium," says Spohn.
The Stubbs skate park will cost $200,000 and is being paid for with community development block grants. The McAlister Skateboarding, Inline Hockey and BMX bike park is being funded by Texas parks and wildlife and the Lubbock Skate Park Committee's fund raisers. That park will be large enough to host regional and national competitions.