Skaters longing for a headquarters in the Auburn-Opelika area may soon find it if the cities pass their respective proposed budgets next month.
If the budgets do pass, the cities will split the cost of a shared skatepark. Auburn and Opelika have each allocated $200,000 in their proposed budgets for the development and construction of one.
While planning is still in the early stages, Opelika Parks and Recreation Director Sam Bailey and Auburn Parks and Recreation Director Becky Richardson said they’ve consulted with multiple large companies that have experience with similar parks.
“She and I were just talking one day … and thought ‘we ought to do this together,’” Bailey said. “If we do this together, each city can pay half the bill, and we’ll get a nicer [park].”
Years ago, Auburn used to house a skatepark, but the directors both said it wasn’t up to par for skaters in the area.
“We had a skatepark for awhile that didn’t go real well, and so we’ve had some requests through the years to do another one,” Richardson said.
Nearby Montgomery had a publicly funded skatepark for years until the land was sold over a year ago for an unrelated development. The city announced that they will open a new one sometime this year.
Public input meetings will be held for skaters to suggest ideas for the park. The developers that are eventually chosen to lead the project will take those ideas into account during the design process and present it back to the public before the departments make a final decision.
The directors have scouted out potential locations for the park together but said it’s too early to release a shortlist.
“I don’t think the budget is going to be the problem,” Bailey said. “I think we just got to get together, finalize a few details and then get started.”
Bailey said. “I think we just got to get together, finalize a few details and then get started.”