Up and running

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Let the skaters skate.

The long-awaited skate park in Selma, located between Memorial Stadium and the city tennis courts, has been open since Tuesday.

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The park, which has been in the works since last summer, is usable but finishing touches are being put on it.

“We just installed the park, and it’s actually functional,” said Tracy Williams of the Selma Parks and Recreation Department. “We’re in the process now of putting the final aesthetic value on it. We hope within the next week or so it will be completely done, but it’s there and ready to be used.”

For the time being, however, skaters will be limited to using the facility while the sun is up. The recreation department is currently in the process of negotiating the placement of lights with Alabama Power.

Unlike other parks under the department’s control, there is currently no supervision for the skate park. Williams said skaters would be on an “honor system.”

Talks of building the park got stirred up in city hall more than three years ago when local youth Clay Smith sent a letter to the office of Mayor James Perkins.

In the letter, Smith suggested the construction of more things that would cater to entertaining the area’s youth, most specifically a skate park.

Last June, Missouri-based American Ramp Company – the company chosen to build the park – set up a demonstration in the upper parking lot behind Memorial Stadium.

The demonstration drew several skaters and interested parents, and the city council later agreed to devote funds toward the $60,000 construction costs.

“It has three ramps, and three or four rails to grind on,” Williams said. “It has a couple of park benches, and there’s going to be some other benches moved up there for something like a gathering area.”