The cities of Auburn and Opelika have come together to build a joint skate park for the communities to enjoy, and the cities are asking the public to give input on the design.
“What we really feel is that Opelika could do this by themselves. Auburn could do this by themselves, but you probably wouldn’t get as nice in either place as we’re hoping this one, with the combined resources, turns out to be,” said Sam Bailey, Opelika parks and recreation director.
The skate park is set to be built in the municipal Indian Pines Golf Course, which rests on the border of Auburn and Opelika.
“There’s no sense in doing two small ones when you can have one big one,” Bailey said. “It’ll better suit everybody’s needs.”
Becky Richardson, Auburn parks and recreation director, said the two cities have had a lot of citizens come forward asking to have a skate park built, so they were able to get it passed through the most recent yearly budget.
The cities will be holding a pair of meetings for the public to express their wants, needs and desires in the design of the park. Two skate park design companies will attend the respective meetings to listen to members of the public before coming up with potential designs.
The first meeting will feature American Ramp Company on June 26 at the Opelika Sportsplex at 1001 Andrews Road. The second meeting will host Spohn Ranch Scatter Parks on June 27 at the Harris Center at 425 Perry St.
“Right now, it’s a blank sheet of what we’re going to include,” Richardson said. “We really want people to come to both meetings.”
Both meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m., and any interested member of the public are encouraged to attend each of the meetings.
“Becky Richardson, the Auburn parks and recreation director, who I know well and is a friend of mine, and myself, the director in Opelika, we’re not skateboarders,” Bailey said. “Asking us to design it or asking us what’s popular would be a waste of time. We want to get in and get input from people who are going to use it and people who are going to want to be a part of the program.”
Each company will incorporate information from the meetings, and they will submit a potential design. The designs will be posted online, and the public will be able to select its favorite.
The skate park will replace the tennis courts in Indian Pines. According to Bailey, the courts rarely get used, and it’s typically only used for pickleball. However, Opelika is in the process of building a 12-court complex for pickleball, and Auburn has already painted lines for the game on its public courts.
Bailey said the hours of operation for the skate park are likely to align with the hours that the gold course is open, which he said is typically whenever it is light outside.
The park will be free and open to the public. However, at this time, there is no time table as to when the skate park will be built after the design is selected.
“I think skaters in both cities are going to really enjoy the finished product,” Bailey said. “I think it’s gong to be nice.”