‚ÄúThey are coming right along with it,‚ÄĚ said Rhett Langston, director of Waynesville‚Äôs Parks and Recreation Department.
Although early projections had the Vance Street park finished by next month, it will not actually open until later this summer ‚ÄĒ closer to late August. Rainfall this spring and summer made it hard to set an actual date for the skate park‚Äôs ribbon cutting.
‚ÄúRight now, it is kind of early to tell because there could be rain,‚ÄĚ Langston said, which would delay work on the park.
To the casual passerby, the site just looks like some dirt and wood frames, but it is already quite different from the flat patch of grass of yesterday.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs looking good. We are excited about it,‚ÄĚ Langston said.
Once the outline of the park is complete, the last steps will include pouring the tons of concrete that will actually make up the skate park and creating a parking lot for visitors. Although he knows people have been waiting years for the town to build the skate park, Langston discouraged skaters from using it before the pavement fully dries and the grand opening is held.
‚ÄúThat is going to be very, very important that everyone stay off of it,‚ÄĚ Langston said.
Skaters have lobbied the town for more than a dozen years to invest in a skate park. But it wasn‚Äôt until earlier this year that the town board approved a $341,658 contract with WNC Paving of Waynesville to build skate park. The park will feature at least four ramps, rails and various obstacles that re-create an urban skateboard setting.
In preparation for the skate park‚Äôs opening, the Waynesville Board of Aldermen recently passed an ordinance requiring people to wear helmets, kneepads and elbow pads when using the park. The board will place signs saying such at the park.
The move was not so much about safety as liability. The park will be unsupervised, and by passing the ordinance and posting the signs Waynesville leaders will mitigate their culpability should someone get injured.