A cutting-edge sports complex is heading to John Hunt Park in the form of an innovative skatepark that will challenge skaters, from professional to novice. The facility will be Olympic quality and include supporting facilities such as restrooms, pavilions, sunshades, lighting, landscaping and expanded parking. It is slated to be built on a three-acre site between Kids Space and the championship soccer fields.
A Huntsville donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is contributing $1 million toward the cost. Working in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, and fueled by the lead investment, an account has been established to continue fundraising to support the total cost of the project, expected to be about $4 million.
The City of Huntsville and Community Foundation team will work directly with The Skatepark Project, Tony Hawk's national skatepark advocacy charity, to ensure the project is completed efficiently and up to contemporary standards. It will incorporate elements of the historic Get-A-Way Skatepark (shown below) and offer areas dedicated to both Olympic and street-style skateboarding.
For the donor, having spent formative years enjoying the former Get-A-Way Skatepark on Leeman Ferry Road, the goal is for others to have the opportunity for physical fitness and to learn important life lessons. “Skateboarding is not easy…you have to fall a lot,” said the donor. “I used the focus and dedication harnessed from my skateboarding experiences throughout my business life, understanding you have to be dedicated and work hard to succeed; and you have to learn to fall and get back up.”
Get-A-Way Skatepark opened in July 1979 and featured a baby pool, 13-foot keyhole, 3/4 pipe, and snake run, earning it recognition as one of the best parks in the country.
Photo credit: SkateAlabama