The Charleston County Parks and Recreation has approved $2 million to create a skatepark at the foot of the Cooper River Bridge, near Meeting and Huger St. "We're very excited about this one," says Executive Director Thomas O'Rourke. "We have enough funding for all of the skate features, which should probably take about $1.5 million alone."
But they're not going to stop at just concrete bowls, decks, and ramps. They plan to build a park approximately 40,000 square feet in size, complete with extra features accessible to non-skaters, including a climbing wall. They also plan to offer wellness programs like walking and bike paths that will pair well with the existing Ravenel Bridge walkway.
Getting approved for a project this big was just the first step. Park and Rec will collaborate with the City of Charleston and the Department of Transportation, which currently owns the property they want to build on. And since this project is for the community, the public will have a part in the design process, including surveys and at meetings.
"We will be giving the public every opportunity to put their two cents in," says O'Rourke.
Work should begin this summer, but until then, skaters will have to be content with sidewalks and railings.
UPDATE: The money to build the park will come from the Parks and Recreation reserve funds — money collected from fees at other parks that goes unspent. The skate park's operations will be paid for through fees charged at the site for food and equipment rentals, as well as special events.
"This way, if you live in Charleston County and you hate skate parks, we don't think your taxes should support this facility," says O'Rourke.