LAFAYETTE — In the next few months.... people in the skating community will soon have a new place to skate.
A new skate park will be constructed at Thomas Park.
Earlier this week, the consolidated government approved the funds.
“It’s going to draw people from other towns; it’s going to bring revenue to Lafayette. I don’t see any downsides to it.”
According to Ross Gresham, who oversees Lafayette Parish parks, $250,000 in construction costs were approved for the new skate park at Thomas Park. Design and architectural costs will come from capital funding.
It will have thousands of square feet towards ramps and bowls for skaters, they say. Construction could begin within the next five months.
“I’ve personally witnessed the skating community in other towns, and they’re not what a lot of people think; they’re very respectful… they're not what a lot of people think,” Gresham said.
Nureaka Ross says she supports the skate park but is concerned if other locations were not considered.
“I support the skate park whole heartedly, I don’t want people to feel like it’s us versus them. North-side versus south-side, however, one community tends to be overlooked when these new developments take place,” Ross said.
“We Considered many parks on the other side of town, and we just couldn’t find many parks with the room for a skate park and the expansion for one,” Gresham said. “However, If there's a demand we will certainly look into it,” he added.
Dejohn Scott says skating has helped him get through tough times.
He also agrees the new development is a great way to keep people safe.
“When I’m not skateboarding is when I find myself not in a good place. It created a safe space for me,” Scott said.
“I was struck by a motorist that ran a stop sign. It placed me in trauma for a week. I was brain damaged and crippled for several years. I still have permanent damage. That was from not having a safe space to skateboard. He continued, “Skate parks give us the opportunity to avoid some of those tragedies.”
LCG is also working on plans to make Brown Park a super baseball park as well as improvements to Moore Park. However, those projects are still in the works.
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