Tri-village area kids are on track to receive a slightly belated Christmas present, as a new skate park is being built on the grounds of the Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo Community Center facility.
Starting construction right after Thanksgiving, it’s estimated that the 7,000 square foot park will be completed by Mid-January, assuming that the weather cooperates.
Though it may feel like the project began out of the blue for folks driving along N.C. Highway 12, it’s actually the result of a multi-year effort by the Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo Community Center Board to get the skate park off the ground.
“18 months ago, when they were doing the Fessenden Center skate park, our board got together and said ‘We should have something like that down here,’” says Board Chairman J.W. Kierzkowski. “We toured different skate parks, and the idea germinated in our minds.”
The board partnered with established skate park developer Artisan Skateparks of Kitty Hawk, which built a number of parks in the northern Outer Banks and Dare County, as well as the recent Fessenden Center skate park in Buxton.
“Their goal is to not duplicate the Buxton park, and to do something different [in Rodanthe], so there will be two separate concepts,” said board member Susan Gray in a 2016 interview, when the skate park was still in its very early planning stages. “Because [the Buxton park] is more of a bowl-style park, our park in Rodanthe will have more street features involved. There may be some bowl elements or features, but not a big bowl like the Fessenden park.”
The need for a local skate park in Rodanthe has been evident for some time. Kierzkowski says that kids have been setting up their own make-shift equipment at the center’s basketball court for a while, so there is certainly a demand for a place to play.
“They have been coming to the basketball court for some time with homemade [obstacles], so we thought we might as well give them a skate park,” he says. “It’s going to be great – and the kids are already so excited!”
Like virtually all island projects, completion of the outdoor skate park is wholly dependent on weather, although the crew has already come a long way since the initial land remediation and foundation set-up at the community center site.
“If the weather holds, they’ll start moving fairly fast,” says Kierzkowski, “and it should be done by mid-January.”
“For the kids who live here, it’s 23 miles to go to the skate park in Buxton, 29 miles to the park in Nags Head, and 30 miles to the one in Manteo,” he adds. “But now, there will be a park in their own backyard.”