Kennesaw ready to break ground on Skatepark
by Noreen Cochran
December 21, 2012 12:39 AM | 5090 views | 5 5 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A rendering of the new Kennesaw Skatepark complex.<br>Special to the MDJ
A rendering of the new Kennesaw Skatepark complex.
Special to the MDJ
KENNESAW — The city of Kennesaw is set to break ground on the Kennesaw Skatepark at Swift-Cantrell Park in January.

The ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Jan. 10.

Though the city still doesn’t have enough money to complete the $1.8 million project, it is starting with a $750,000 skate plaza while it works to secure the rest of the funding.

“The foundation is actively engaged in the capital fund, but we’re starting Phase I,” park foundation chair RJ Patel said. “The majority part of that is coming from the SPLOST. What is dedicated to the skate park is $750,000.”

According to the city, the two phases of the project are estimated to cost a combined $1.8 million; $1.4 million from the 2011 SPLOST and the remainder from corporate or private donations or grants, not the city’s general fund.

“The Phase I estimated construction time is six months,” project leader Jeff Drobney said in a statement. “Phase II will begin as soon as funding is secured.”

Patel said although about $450,000 is still needed in “gap funding,” the project start is a sign of good faith.

“We want to show that we are committed to the community in making this happen, because it’s been a long time in the making,” he said. “By starting this project, once we get the usage by the general public, it will generate more and more interest, which will lead to the gap funding.”

According to Drobney, the facility will be the first permanent skate park to feature elements modeled on a competitive street skate park plaza design.

“It will be capable of hosting large and small size skateboarding events,” he said.

The first phase will include additional parking, lighting and restrooms.

“The flow course and bowl will be built during the second phase,” Drobney said, for which fundraising is in progress.

Mayor Mark Mathews said in a statement the project, which has been in the works since a 2001 survey revealed the need for it, is highly anticipated.

“We’re excited that construction on this long-anticipated project is beginning,” he said. “Representatives from our two key partners on the project, the SITE Design Group and contractor California Skateparks, will be on hand to mark the occasion.”

Matthews responded to media reports the contractor failed to disclose recent litigation during the bid process.

“The city completed a very thorough assessment of each of the bidders responding to our skatepark request for bid,” he said. “As it stands today, there is no reason to take any action on the project other than completing the capital campaign to fill the funding gap.”
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Bo Duke
December 22, 2012
I hope they put in a food court for Matthews. Maybe if he's around the skaters will behave!!! This is your baby mark!!!!!!
Love Kennesaw
December 21, 2012
The city should have taken into consideration the residents living by the park who have to listen to all of the noise made from the skaters. It is not the skaters fault, it is the sound of the activity, however it is right across and behind many residents homes located in both the city limits and in the county. We love the park - but why keep adding noise! when there is a movie in the park, we have no choice but to be awake until the movie is over because of the noise. If there is any type of run or special activity, we can not even get in and out of our streets. One side of the road is county and one side is city. Us county folks are getting the short end of the stick!
Important project?
December 21, 2012
Did Kennesaw voters agree to this?

Is this money more important to skaters than the lives of the taxpayers that spent the money?

Why does government contantly think spending money on frivoulous projects is smart?

Another field of dreams...Once you build it, taxpayers will come with tax $ to maintain it.

You are putting future generations/taxpayers on the hook to preserve, maintain and replace this park.

Government shouldn't be in the business to build anything, but encourage private industry to do it!
Craig Kootsillas
December 21, 2012
In order to make up the half million or so shortfall in funding, Patel and Mathews are counting on Dydrek's celebrity status to generate support and interest.

The success of this project is dependent upon a guy that lied on his firm's RFP response, not once but at least twice.

This skatepark may be a good idea, but it is wrong to teach our kids that it is OK to cheat - but only if you are popular.
December 21, 2012
Did you ever think about the 20 year old skaters hanging out with your 8 year olds?

We may as well just hand out illicit drugs to children in Kennesaw schools and save the $1.8 million
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