Those who dig trying out a new trick on the half-pipe got some good news on Tuesday when the cities of Auburn and Opelika held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Auburn/Opelika Skate Park.
The skate park, located at Indian Pines Golf Course, was a joint effort between the cities of Auburn and Opelika, with each providing $200,000 in funding for the project.
The skate park was identified as one of the pressing recreational needs in the Auburn community during public meetings for the city's Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan.
Josh Loveland, owner of Pop Love-It Skate Shop in Auburn, advocated for a skate park at those initial meetings.
"I’m absolutely overjoyed to see this come to fruition, to see this happen, and really to see the smiles, man, to see the people, especially kids, skating and enjoying it," said Loveland. "It’s a beautiful thing and a great day for the community.
"There have been a lot of cities and towns over the years that have had plans for parks and they’ve never happened, so it’s absolutely killer and amazing to see this here and set in stone, so to speak, and happen so quickly. It’s awesome."
The public also got involved in two public input meetings and helped pick out the design of the park in an online survey between two companies' competing designs.
Ultimately, more than 1,000 votes were cast, with American Ramp Company's proposal winning by a razor-thin margin of four votes.
"That means we picked two pretty good companies, I think, that were responsive to what they were saying," said Auburn Parks and Recreation Director Becky Ricardson. "From the response we’ve gotten since it’s been open, I think it’s what they want.
"I think it’s been a great project in that we could work with Opelika and maybe get a bigger skate park than what we would have maybe gotten by ourselves and Opelika would have gotten, and it’s located in a great place."