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City’s $1.25 million skatepark to be unveiled Saturday

Bill DeYoung

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The 11-foot-8-inch "vert pool" is the largest in Florida (photo: St. Petersburg Skatepark Alliance).

Mayor Rick Kriseman will cut the ribbon on the St. Petersburg Regional Skatepark at 11 a.m. Saturday. Located in the Campbell Park neighborhood, in the shadow of Tropicana Field, it’s the largest and most advanced skateboard facility in the county – and, according to the City, at 28,000 square feet, it’s very nearly the biggest such public facility in Florida.

Approved by City Council in August 2015, the project was launched with a groundbreaking ceremony in June of last year. The total cost was $1.25 million.

“I want to thank everyone, including the Parks & Recreation Department, who worked so hard to make this a reality,” Kriseman said in a statement announcing Saturday’s grand opening. “This skatepark is also an important step in our goal of creating a Healthy St. Pete. Join us at the new Regional Skatepark and play healthy.”

(Photo: City of St. Petersburg.)

Local skaters established the St. Pete Skatepark Alliance in 2013, to advocate for a centralized skating center. The following year, a city law banning skateboards downtown – dating from the 1980s and rarely enforced – was reversed.

Specifics for the new park were hammered out through a series of public input meetings.

“There’s quite a few skateparks already in Florida, so they wanted something that’s unique to their area, and something that was unique to their needs,” said Tim Payne, who designed and built the facility through his company, Team Pain, based in Winter Springs. “And their main goal was to make sure the skatepark was free, and not fenced. So people could use it without signing a waiver or paying a fee.”

In his design, Payne included a “vert pool” – a nearly 12-foot-deep concrete bowl for advanced skaters – that he says is the largest in the state.

There are also areas for beginning, intermediate and advanced skaters.

Skateparks, Payne said, come in all shapes and sizes. “A real skatepark that has all the elements would be about 40,000 square feet. It’s always a challenge, as a designer and a builder, to design something cutting-edge that’s going to keep the users excited about going back to the park all the time.”

According to the City, also involved in design and construction were Cutler Associates, Hunter Booth of Booth Design Group and Dan Vickstrom of Vickstrom Engineering.

“And I really have to give kudos to (St. Pete Skatepark Alliance co-founder) Jay Turner,” added Payne, “because he hung in there and brought everything together.”

Although the park had a “soft opening” on May 26, Saturday’s event – from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. – will be a real “celebration.”

The St. Petersburg Regional Skatepark is located at 600 12st Street S.

 

Event Schedule

11 a.m. – Grand Opening + Ribbon Cutting

12 p.m. – BMX Street Best Trick

12:30 p.m. – Skateboard Bowl (8 ft.) Best Trick

1 p.m. – Skateboard Street Best Trick

1:30 p.m. – Skateboard Vert Bowl Best Trick + Awards

 

Preregistration required for best trick events. Register at StPeteSkateparkAlliance.org.

Helmets are required for individuals 16 years and younger.

Call (727) 893-7441 for more information.

 

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