LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After months of uncertainty, the vision of a Lufkin skate park has been completed.
Crews with the American Ramp Company put the finishing touches on the park,which sits where tennis courts used to be at Kiwanis Park, earlier this week. After given the okay from the company on Thursday, dozens of skaters took to the park. The crowds continued on Friday. The park has several drop-in points and rails.
The park also has sections painted in red and blue, the city colors. A large vertical wall and quarter pipe drop in point are painted in a blue "L" for Lufkin, according to Parks and Recreation Director Mike Akridge. There is also a section of street-style transfers.
"It is really looking good out there," Akridge said. "I went out there early this morning and there were kids already skating plus we had the large crowd yesterday."
Akridge said while the concrete has dried up, the city will not have an official opening for a few weeks.
"We want to clean up a lot of that extra dirt that is around there," Akridge said. "We also want to do some sidewalk work and put in a water fountain. We still have a lot to do, but we are putting our guys on it. We hope to have this ting completely done by April 8. We plan on doing a nice big grand opening."
To get to this point, the park has cleared several hurdles. In September the city was ready to award a bid to the American Ramp Company for a prefabricated park. Residents soon spoke out against the park.
"We are very grateful," Amy Dunn said in a previous story. "It is a huge gift to the community. I just am concerned at the construction. The modulars have to be maintained, and I think in the long run, the city might be a little disappointed because of the hits they will take. We think that concrete would be better. It is smoother, and a lot of skaters really prefer that as the way to skate."
After concern was raised, the city backed out on the plan and went back to the drawing table. In December, ARC was once again the lone finalist in the design of the park. The difference was that the park will be concrete based.
"We are moving forward with ARC," said City Manager Keith Wright. "It was the best option. Now, we will have ARC meet with city workers and community members about the design of the concrete park."
The park will replace two tennis courts at Kiwanis Park. Akridge said once it gets closer, the city will be announcing a grand-opening event.