Skateboard park construction to start in Aug. Harper's Choice project due to open in November


The Harper's Choice Village Board and about a dozen skaters reviewed plans this week for a 10,000-square-foot skateboard park in the new SportsPark, off Harpers Farm Road.

The $175,000 project is expected to be completed by November. The Columbia Association is finalizing a deal with a designer for the park, and construction will begin next month, said Dennis Mattey, a CA construction manager.

Skateboarders have long complained that they are prohibited from using what they say are some of Columbia's best trails and surfaces. They say some police and security officers consider them a nuisance.

One of the most popular skateboarding spots is along Lake Kittamaqundi in Town Center. CA planners say putting the park in the $2.8 million SportsPark, where there are batting cages and a miniature golf course, will help keep pathways and sidewalks in Columbia clear.

However, unlike many of Columbia's gyms, the skateboard park is not likely to generate huge revenues.

According to association officials, if they charge $5 to $7 for admission, the park may lose as much as $27,500 a year. If they charge $3 to $5, losses could mount to $40,500.

The skate ramp most likely will be made of "skate light," a light wood material ideal for outdoor parks.

"It's not the old skateboard park, where they poured cement in a hole and it looks like a swimming pool," said Chick Rhodehamel, who oversees Columbia's open space.

Pub Date: 7/24/98

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