Skatepark plans announced for St. Petersburg

- Finding places to grind rails and shred the pavement is going to get a lot easier for skaters in Pinellas County, after the St. Petersburg city council approved plans for a new $1.25 million skatepark on Thursday.

Initial designs showed the concrete playground includes a 12-foot drop, in addition to several other features for skateboarders to perfect their craft.

“The park is going to have something for everyone, all levels, from beginner, intermediate, and advanced... from a street course to a flow area," said Jay Turner, with the St Petersburg Skate Park Alliance.

Turner uses the city parks daily to coach young skaters through his "School of Skatin" camp. There are currently only two skateparks through the city's Parks & Recreation Department.

Turner said physical fitness is an added bonus for children who learn how to skate.

“It teaches them confidence. It motivates them to progress and learn," Turner explained.

The bid to design and build the newly proposed skatepark was awarded to Cutler Constructions and its affiliate, Team Pain, the same company that designed the skatepark in Lakeland.

Skate lovers are hopeful that the new park will draw national competitions and serve as a safe zone for children looking for activities outside of school.

“We feel that it’s really important in St Petersburg, one of the best cities in Florida, to have something competitive and something to offer the community, from teens and children to families," said Turner.

Construction is expected to start in September. The skatepark could open in the spring of 2017.

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