Running short on money, considering a location change and seeing the number of local skaters willing to pitch in dwindle, Anderson city officials have yet to start construction on a skate park at a time when they hoped to be finished.

“This (design) is really good if we can locate the money,” Landscape Architect Tammy Doty said.

Preliminary plans for remaking Mays Park show an 85 by 185-foot, plaza-like construction with grind rails, hubba boxes and stairways, amenities that are music to a skater’s ears.

The park is being paid for with $225,000 left over from the bond issue that paid for Town Center Park. Of that, $20,000 went to the Tempe, Ariz.-based Site Design Group.

About $20,000 more will go to other improvements at the site.

So the lowest bid the parks department received, about $209,000 from Muncie-based JG Case Construction, was about $25,000 more than the department now has to spend on it.

That cost may rise even higher if the existing design is scrapped to move the park to a new location, as officials would like to do.

“There is a potential for vandalism (at Mays Park),” Mayor Kevin Smith said. The already-existing shelter building at the ex-ice skating park could provide a haven for vandals, he said.

Though he declined to say where, he said the city is looking at acquiring some land in a more “open, central” location that could house “a larger sports arena all together.”

“It’s not a dead issue, just delayed a little bit,” he said.

“Mays Park is the option we’ve been working on. We’re also looking at other possibilities,” Parks Superintendent Doug Zook said.

Some cost woes could have been solved if the city had won a Tony Hawk grant, named after a famous skateboarder and worth up to $25,000.

But Anderson lost, Doty said, because of lack of participation from local skateboarders.

“I know it’s taking a long time and the kids get frustrated,” she said. “(But we’ve got to) organize something, come up with something.”

The Anderson City Council approved funding for the skate park in December 2004. At the time, officials said the park might be finished by the end of 2005.



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