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Date of Skatepark Groundbreaking Set

Kennesaw will break ground on the first phase of the Kennesaw Skatepark on Jan. 10.

Groundbreaking on the first phase of the Kennesaw Skatepark in Swift-Cantrell Park will take place on Thursday, January 10 at 11 a.m., according to project leader and Assistant City Manager Jeff Drobney. The facility will be the first ever permanent skatepark to feature elements modeled on a competitive street skatepark plaza design. It will be capable of hosting large and small size skateboarding events. The first phase will consist of two projects: the skatepark plaza, and additional parking, lighting and restrooms at Swift-Cantrell Park. The flow course and bowl will be built during the second phase for which fund raising is in progress.

“We’re excited that construction on this long-anticipated project is beginning,” said Mayor Mark Mathews. “Representatives from our two keys partners on the project, the SITE Design Group and contractor California Skateparks, will be on hand to mark the occasion.”

The design provides elements for skateboarders of all skill levels. Spectators will be able to view the activities in a family-friendlysetting for free.

“It’s great to see this project moving forward,” said RJ Patel, chair of the Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation. “The finished skatepark will be one of the largest in the southeast and is expected to draw skateboarders from across the region.”

The estimated total project cost, including both phases, is $1.8 million; $1.4 million was approved by voters as part of the 2011 SPLOST and the remainder will come from corporate or private donations or grants, not the city’s general fund. The Phase I estimated construction time is six months. Phase II will begin as soon as funding is secured

Cris Eaton Welsh December 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM
It's an exciting time here in Kennesaw... This would not be possible without the numerous citizen volunteers and dedicated city staff. See ya on the 10th
Joe Bozeman December 21, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Well, I am glad the world did not end today, but Doomsday for Swift Cantrell seems to be cut in stone now, 01/10/2013. I hope I am wrong, but in my opinion, we are turning a pristine, family oriented park into a carnival atmosphere. I honestly believe the vast majority of the people don't want this skate board complex built.
Bill December 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
The new skate park is going to bring in people from all over the area, not just people from Kennesaw and Acworth. A nice local park serving 2 communities is now going to be the go to spot for regional and perhaps national skate competitions. With Main Street is one lane each direction, traffic is going to come to a stop when those competitions are held. I understand that about 650K is allocated for landscaping and additional parking. Don't know how much each, maybe 50/50? Clearly 325k for new parking is going to take up a lot of land for new spaces, so there goes another acre or two of land which will now be paved over.Just to save time and money why don't we just pave over the whole darn thing at once and perhaps get a 10% discount on the concrete! This is suppose to be a PARK but not an amusement park. When are they going to put in the Ferris Wheel and bumper cars? This was, is and always will be a bad idea and when we start having gang shootings there you will finally figure out that we are opening ourselves up to a lot of down market people from out of our area who are now coming to Kennesaw and Acworth for their drug deals and gang activity.
Debra Williams December 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
When I read the assumptions and negative rants on articles written regarding the Skate Park, I wonder if there is anything positive about the Skate Park with these individuals. First, it was complaints about the Dog Park portion, then about the massive playground equipment, then the paving of the walk-path. So far, it seems to be more enjoyed than a detriment to our City. I'd also like to know what facts Bill has that this is going to cause 'gang shootings'! We have a temporary skate area at Swift Cantrell right now and to date I am not aware of any 'gang' or any other type of shootings that has happened or resulted in the skate area being there. What I have observed in this mans writings is a lot like what our national government is trying to do to the public, incite FEAR in order to CONTROL! Things we don't understand often make us uncomfortable and therefore we fight against it. Ms. Wick stepped out on a limb to help provide a place for young people to go without having to skate in the streets or parking lots, a place that was in a patrolled environment, a place with families, their children and pets, most of us weren't sure about how that would work out but we gave it a chance and it seems to have worked out fine. If we work together to solve the challenge we'll successfully find one. However, if all we do is gripe, whine, complain, and fight, we'll end up just where we are - empty. I hope you'll join me as I show up to support this wonderful endeavor for our City.
Joe Bozeman December 31, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Hi Debra, As I just told Cris Welsh on the phone, I still am against the skate park and do not believe it will bring anything positive to Kennesaw. But, I will attend the ground breaking and be a good boy. I am afraid our beautiful park is becoming a hang out for unsupervised kids. I was told by three long time citizens last week that they will no longer take their grandchildren to the park because of the language being used and the behavior of these unsupervised kids. I hope both Bill Harris and I are proven wrong, but sadly I believe we both are right in our opinions. I doubt you remember this, but Cobb County built a state of the art recreation center in Kennesaw back in 1960. An Olympic pool, an 18 hole golf coarse, tennis courts, a driving range, and three fishing lakes. It was billed as " A Model For The Nation". In fact I was a lifeguard at the swimming pool for two years. It did not work out and now it's Pinetree Country Club. It is my opinion that Swift Cantrell is heading down the same path. History usually repeats its self. I am deeply concerned for Swift Cantrell, I hope I am wrong. I hope to see you at the ground breaking. Sincerely Yours Joe Bozeman
John Himot January 01, 2013 at 02:59 AM
So right Joe, we need more parks for walking and enjoying the peace not some noisy old skate park which will most likely be over shadowed by Bobby Cox and his new venture just over the county line.
John Himot January 01, 2013 at 03:03 AM
More parking less park to enjoy. Yes our city leaders are doing it all just for us. The park is already being used by many out of town people and we the citizens of Kennesaw get to enjoy it less each year. Thank you Kennesaw leaders for destroying the beauty of what would have one day have been a fine park.
John Himot January 01, 2013 at 03:07 AM
I agree with Bill and Joe this addition to the park will be one big mistake. But we know that once our city leaders get something in their mind there is NO changing it no matter what. Happy New Year.
Joe Bozeman January 01, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Good point John. The sports complex in Bartow County will be privately owned and will be run like a business. It will appeal to upscale sports and generate much business for that community. I guess Bartow County will receive property tax for this complex and some of the land it's being built on is a strip mined wasteland, not pristine green space. One of my favorite movies is "Field Of Dreams". The quote in that movie is "If you build it, they will come". This is not always true in business, but I believe it about the Kennesaw skate park, when it is built, they will come. I believe many of those who come will not be examples of what the taxpayers or businesses want in our town. I did an informal survey at the park. a I talked to about 20 people at the park, not a one of them was a taxpayer in Kennesaw. Fact is, Kennesaw taxpayers are providing a recreation facility for anyone who wants to come, many of who provide no financial support to the city. I have suggested that the city charge a user fee to those who are not city residents, but that went over like a lead balloon. I remember several years ago my cousins, Butch and David Jiles, wanted to sell their old home place across from Swift Cantrell to a church. The city tried their best to stop this because the land would be dropped from the tax base for the church. After many lawyers fees, the Jiles boys won. Now the city is building a skatepark on public land that, in my opinion, should be a private project.
Debra Williams January 02, 2013 at 02:35 PM
A lot of assumptions are made because we fear what we can't control. I've been at the Park and heard the foul language - it wasn't from the kids, it was adults walking their dogs upset about something or it's simply the way they talk. Parents sitting in the playground area using fowl language while their children play. Let's not blame all the bad on the young people! I wasn't living in Kennesaw in the 60's, I was born in the 60's, grew up during the unrest of the 60's and 70's, I hope we've stopped living our lives so far in the past when the whole of America was experiencing unrest. I agree we need to find a way to make the Park more Kennesaw than surrounding areas, possibly non-citizens would have to purchase a pass, renewable annually for access. I believe Parks and Rec should have staff at the park during hours of operation (I'v been there when there was no representative with the city on premises) who aren't afraid to actually step up and approach those participating in some of the activities Mr. Bozeman is speaking of. I've not been afraid to do so, and I remind them it's a City Park for Kennesaw citizens, not their personal backyard. As many as don't want it, there are those who do. It is those who need to sit down together and find a compromise, there's no way to make everyone happy.
Kennesaw Mom January 05, 2013 at 11:35 PM
I love Swift Cantrell Park. I think many are mistaken about the potential noise level and crowd with a skatepark. I have visited many skateparks and am impressed with those who skate there and the family oriented environment present that I did not expect. It is great for getting kids involved in an activity that is constructive and great for them too. I totally support the skatepark and look forward to having it here in Kennesaw.
wmsmom January 06, 2013 at 03:09 AM
I don't pay city taxes in other cities, but I do enjoy the amenities (including parks) that many of them offer.
Tracey Viars January 10, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I, too, am excited about the skate park. It's going to add great potential for Kennesaw...Wonderful PR going outside our circle & we will become known as a city that's friendly to families as well as teens/preteens. If you treat all pre-teens/teens/young adults (in this case the skateboarding participants) as if they are unwanted thugs, then that's exactly what they'll become...It doesn't have to be an "us vs. them" environment. As a teen of the 80s, I remember well one of the challenges was having a place we could go and hang out with other teens that was safe. We were too young for "clubs" & if we hung out at fast food restaurants & the like, we were told we were loitering and asked to leave...This skate park will give the young crowd a place to mix and mingle and it will be looked over and patrolled by the city (as it already is)...This addition makes our city very "progressive" as there aren't many facilities like this in existance and none in the Southeast (or I don't believe so)...Also, if you've ever watched what these talented young men and women can do on a skateboard, you'll agree it will add an element of entertainment for those families that do want to walk over and watch it while they are visiting the park. As far as the park being used by non-kennesaw/acworth residents, I should hope I'm never charged for using public parks in counties/cities that I don't pay taxes in...I never have before Tracey Viars, Board Member / Kennesaw Downtown Development Authority

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