London skatepark opens

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Messenger photos by Mike MundenColby Gulick grinds on one of the features at London’s new skatepark. It was his request for the city to act that led to the creation of the park.
At the dedication of London’s new skatepark, skater Colby Gulick (center) cuts a ribbon held by Mayor David Eades (left) and David Kell (right), representing the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
At the dedication of London’s new skatepark, skater Colby Gulick (center) cuts a ribbon held by Mayor David Eades (left) and David Kell (right), representing the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

(Posted July 17, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London’s new skatepark opened July 4, completing the transformation of the city’s old tennis courts.

In 2012, three of the tennis courts were turned into two full-size basketball courts. The other two tennis courts are now the skatepark. The facility is located at the corner of Park and Columbia avenues, across from the municipal pool.

“The skatepark is in a central area so there’s easy access. It’s a great addition to the recreational opportunities in the city,” said Steve Hume, London’s safety-service director.

The park features quarter pipes, grind boxes and grind rails. Quarter pipes are curved ramps that lead up to small platforms. The boxes and rails allow skateboarders to perform grinds—tricks that involve sliding along an object using the board’s trucks rather than its wheels. Trucks are metal mechanisms that connect the wheels and bearings to the board.

“The park has been heavily used since it opened,” Hume said. “Every time I’ve been by there, it’s been well utilized.”

The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Users skate at their own risk. The city requests that users where personal protective gear, such as helmets, knee pads and elbow pads.

The park cost $37,000 to build, but involved no local taxpayer dollars, Hume said. A Nature Works grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources covered $20,000. The city covered the other $17,000 with money from the parks and playground fund, which comes from impact fees paid to the city by developers.

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