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Skatepark coming to John Hunt Park’s growing number of sports offerings

Published on January 12, 2021

Another new cutting-edge sports complex is heading to John Hunt Park, this time in the form of an innovative skatepark that will challenge skaters, from professional to novice.

The facility will be world-class and include supporting facilities such as restrooms, pavilions, sunshades, lighting, landscaping and expanded parking. It is slated to be built on a three-acre site between Kids Space and the championship soccer fields.

“Skateboarding continues to grow in popularity and is a sport the community has long wanted to see in John Hunt Park,” said Mayor Battle. “We’ve been holding a space in the park for skaters, and thanks to the generosity of a local donor we’re able to start moving forward on a project this year.”

A Huntsville donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is contributing $1 million toward the cost. Working in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, and fueled by the lead investment, an account has been established to continue fundraising to support the total cost of the project, expected to be about $4 million.

“The Community Foundation is proud to help our donors put their philanthropic dreams into action,” said Melissa Thompson, CEO and President of the Community Foundation. “We strive to help our donors be generous, however that looks for them. We are excited to help bring to life the John Hunt Skatepark, which will enhance the quality of life and bring new opportunities to a diverse group of people in our community.”

rendering of the proposed skatepark
Rendering of the proposed skatepark

For the donor, having spent formative years enjoying the former Get-A-Way Skatepark on Leeman Ferry Road, the goal is for others to have the opportunity for physical fitness and to learn important life lessons.

“Skateboarding is not easy…you have to fall a lot,” said the donor. “I used the focus and dedication harnessed from my skateboarding experiences throughout my business life, understanding you have to be dedicated and work hard to succeed; and you have to learn to fall and get back up.”

The City of Huntsville and Community Foundation team will work directly with The Skatepark Project, Tony Hawk’s national skatepark advocacy charity, to ensure the project is completed efficiently and up to contemporary standards.  It will incorporate elements of the historic Get-A-Way Skatepark and offer areas dedicated to both Olympic and street-style skateboarding.

“We are extremely happy to be adding another attraction to John Hunt Park,” said Steve Ivey, Director of Huntsville Parks & Recreation. “We know the new skatepark will be a huge success and thank the Community Foundation for helping us make this become a reality.”

The process for the City to begin working with the Community Foundation will be sent to City Council for approval on Jan. 14.

rendering of the proposed skatepark