Last week, Jacksonville Beach’s city manager, George Forbes, presented a summary of the city’s fiscal year 2015 budget to council members. Within the overview, a budget amount of $250,000 was set to be allocated toward the installation of a skateboard park on a site located at 10th Street and Seagate Avenue, behind Fletcher Middle School.
Although the city is only in the preliminary stage of planning, a phone conversation with Forbes revealed that, “the city council sees need for a beginner-to-intermediate, street-style skatepark.” Forbes added that he would like to see the park built by the end of next year.
Martin Ramos, owner and operator of Kona Skate Park, provided free consultation to the city, suggesting, “a low-impact, plaza-style skate park that is both free and unsupervised.” Ramos emphasized the importance of water fountains, bathrooms, seating and shade, as well as recommending that the park be a part of a wider vision for the project site. “Something that could be seen as a multi-use community center that has a skate park as its main feature, maybe even a small band stage. Definitely something geared towards activities and events as well as daily use.”
With public skate parks located in two of the surrounding beach towns (Atlantic Beach and Ponte Vedra), it should come as no surprise that the most youth-driven beach community is not only capable of hosting, but also eagerly awaiting, a much-needed, intermediate-level street course for skateboarders.