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Proposed skate park project gets financial boost

Oct. 23, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington's proposed skate park received a funding boost Tuesday that makes a spring 2014 construction start date very likely, according to a city official.

The project, which will be located on the western end of Harris Riverfront Park, was awarded a $50,000 National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund grant, bringing the total funds available for the project to $115,000. That's almost enough to build the first phase of the skate park, which will cost approximately $120,000 to $140,000, said Charles Holley, the city's director of development and planning.

The grant award was announced in a prepared release from U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall and U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin.

"This federal funding helps complete the partnership to make Harris Riverfront Park, a true gem on the Ohio, shine even brighter," Rahall said. "The new skate park enhances safety for kids and family enjoyment. As budgets tighten in Washington, I continue to make the case that long-term investments that improve our downtowns and boost our city's economy should not fall victim to shortsighted budget politics."

The city designated $130,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the skate park last year, and used half of the money when it hired AECOM Technical Services of Richmond, Va., and Team Pain, a company specializing in the construction of skate parks, to come up with a design.

The master plan for the skate park is a product of a public meeting last May in which local skaters provided input, Holley said. The park will be built in three phases with the level of difficulty increasing with each phase. The first phase will feature several street elements that can be used by all levels of skaters, while the third phase will include a bowl, Holley said.

Follow H-D reporter Bryan Chambers on Facebook or Twitter @BryanChambersHD.

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