Kennesaw reached a milestone this morning in its years-long quest to build a state-of-the-art skatepark when area leaders and skateboarding enthusiasts gathered at Swift-Cantrell Park for the groundbreaking of the first phase of the 40,000-square-foot park.
"This is just an incredible day," Mayor Mark Mathews told the crowd. "... The skatepark ... started as a concept in '06 (and has) taken many different angles, many different avenues, many different designs. Today, seven years later, we're ready to start construction."
The $1.8-million skatepark will be constructed in two phases. Phase I, the construction of a $740,827 skatepark plaza, is estimated to take six months.
"Upon completion," Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation preisdent RJ Patel said, "we begin the future of ... hopefully giving birth to this sport with a permanent facility that's going to be available year-round. That's exciting, folks. We're looking forward to breeding some champions here."
During Phase II, a skatepark flow course, skate pool and skate bowl perimeter concrete will be constructed at a cost of $309,024. Landscaping, additional parking and restroom, lighting, and site furnishings will total $740,742.
So far, Kennesaw has $1.4 million that was approved by voters as part of the 2011 SPLOST. More than half of that, about $750,000, is earmarked for the skatepark. Another $650,000 is for a parking lot addition and landscaping improvements.
Because work will begin only on those portions of the project that have full funding in place, the start of Phase II will depend on the availability of funds, she said.
Kennesaw will seek out donations to close the funding gap. None of the money will come from the city's general fund.
Fundraising efforts are moving along well, Patel said. Some of the donors approached by the foundation attended today's groundbreaking, he said.
Another guest was Joe Ciaglia, the president and CEO of California Skateparks, the company behind the design and construction of the facility.
"We're really looking forward to building this and coming back and skating with everybody," Ciaglia said.
Click here to watch celebrity skateboarder Rob Dyrdek talk about the skatepark. For more information on the skatepark, visit https://access.foundationsource.com/nonprofit/kennesaw-skate-park.