The first phase of the almost $2 million skate park off Old U.S. 41 included a “street league” plaza, with rails, ramps and stairs as obstacles running through the course.
The second phase will add a “flow course” that is similar to a curvy, empty pool and a separate bowl that is a uniform hole 10 feet deep in the center.
Both features have edges along the top for skaters to hang their boards as they roll up.
Additional parking, lighting, restrooms and landscaping will be the last elements to be finished.
A rainy summer season has delayed the project that is now expected to be completed in November, weather permitting.
The decision to start construction on the second phase immediately after finishing the first will save the city thousands of dollars, according to the project manager.
“The city will save over $25,000 in set-up costs that would be required if the contractor left and returned at a later date,” said Jeff Drobney, the skate park project leader and assistant city manager.
The 40,000-square-foot, free public skate park will have approximately 25,000 feet in skateable surface.
The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million, with $1.4 million approved by voters as part of the 2011 SPLOST. The remaining $400,000 is being raised privately from corporate grants or sponsorships.
Professional venue could draw thousands
Matt Mazza, 24, and Wesley Lembo, 19, both live in Kennesaw and are employees for Ambush Board Co., a sports retailer based in Kennesaw since 1997 that offers skateboard apparel and gear.
Mazza said the skate park will have large elements that make it a professional-level skate park.
“Everything there is really going to make kids push themselves,” Mazza said.
Lembo said it will be a great venue to do multiple tricks without stopping or pausing, which is how competitions run.
“You can continuously hit piece after piece,” Lembo said.
Being able to have large-scale skateboarding competitions will bring revenue into Kennesaw, while also allowing area youth to see the level of talent it takes to get sponsorships and win championships, Lembo said.
If nothing else, Lembo said a state-of-the-art skate park will keep kids off of private property where they are chased away from businesses by the police.
“Instead of having someone in your face telling you to get out, kids can skate at the park all day long,” Lembo said.
Mayor Mark Mathews said there is a high level of enthusiasm all over the Atlanta metro area for the Kennesaw skate park.
“There is a tremendous amount of pent up demand from the skateboarding community for a facility in this area,” Mathews said.
Mazza and Lembo said some customers of Ambush Board, at 2555 Cobb Place Lane off Barrett Parkway, have been asking about the skate park, but other shoppers from outside Cobb County have not heard about the soon-to-open facility.
Mazza, who has been skateboarding for 10 years, said he goes to the nearest skate park in Dunwoody, but is anxious to have a premium complex at Swift-Cantrell Park that is only a mile away from his home in Kennesaw.
Lembo said he remembers talks beginning about the need for a skate park in Cobb County when he was in middle school.
“This park has been in the making for 10 years,” Lembo said.
The Rob Dyrdek Foundation, founded in 2003 to promote communities building skate plazas, was involved at the concept-level for the skate park at Swift-Cantrell, according to city spokeswoman Pam Davis.
Davis said Rob Dyrdek, a professional skateboarder, entrepreneur and reality TV star, was a “huge supporter” of the Swift-Cantrell skate park.
The Rob Dyrdek Foundation funded the design of the skate park by SITE Design Group Inc., out of California.
Davis said she expects The Rob Dyrdek Foundation to get involved with the grand opening, bringing out professional skateboarders to demonstrate the equipment.