LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Corey McKinney, 25, never imagined the new skate park would become a reality.
"It's surreal. It really is. You know I'll find myself skating around, having fun, doing my motion, then I'll stand on top of one of the ramps or I'll just stand and watch the people around me and realize these are the people I've grown up around. These are more than just my skating community, it's my hometown community," McKinney said.
But for a long time, the hometown community lacked key venue as a hub for skaters.
On Saturday, a new skate park in Kiwanis Park opened to the community. But the journey to make the currently designed park come to reality-- was a long one.
"Lufkin did not provide a skating facility, so a lot of them were getting in trouble skating in Downtown Lufkin, places where they weren't allowed to skate," said Mike Akeridge with the Parks and Recreation Department.
However, all that changed about a year ago the city had funding to start construction.
But plans didn't go their way.
"We were going with more square footage and modular units and the skating community did not want modular units. They said that they wear out and a lot of cities were going back and replacing modular units, so they wanted poured in place concrete," Akeridge said.
After getting feedback from the skating community, the city was able to overcome several hurdles and set a new direction of construction while building a relationship with the skating community.
"When actually sat down and at a meeting and at a time and a place and say this is what we need, then they started getting the idea," McKinney said.
The skating community appreciated the hard work crew members put in to make the skate park a reality.
"Perfect job. Spot on job. I can't find one flaw with the skate park, everybody seems to be really happy with it," McKinney said.
The skate park replaced two tennis courts, and it's the first ever city run skate park.