Up & Rollin’

Skateboarders who have eagerly awaited the opening of Trackside Skate Plaza need wait no more — the (free!) Apex park is now up and rolling, following a grand opening celebration last weekend that drew at least 1,000 people of all ages.

“Attendance exceeded my expectations. People came from as far away as Roanoke, Virginia, Virginia Beach, and Sumter, South Carolina to skate the facility,” said John M. Brown, Apex Parks & Recreation director.

“This is a tremendous addition to our parks system and something that falls into line with our recent master plan, which stressed the need for more facilities and opportunities for teens.”

The million-dollar, 13,000-square-foot, four-tiered skate plaza is adjacent to Hunter Street Park in downtown Apex. It mimics street skating conditions with ramps, railings, steps and a competition bowl, and features added amenities like a solar-powered charging station and performance pavilion.

Determined Teens

Best of all, many of the skaters now using the park have been involved all along: They’ve addressed the town council regarding the need for the park, offered input on the site design, sold “Adopt-A-Skateboarder” T-shirts to raise money for the cause, and are helping to landscape the skate plaza.

Brown notes that the town council allocated most of the funding, while local nonprofit Citizens for Apex Parks has raised more than $300,000 in cash and in-kind donations such as materials and labor.

“And a special shout-out should go to Capt. Jacques Gilbert in the Apex Police Department and to Kyle Denis, owner of Apex Outfitter & Board Co., for all their work with the skateboard community over the years, which is really what started the effort,” Brown said.

He also pointed to Christine Hilt and Glenn Medlin of Cary-based CLH Design, the principal design firm on the project, for their efforts, and nationally-recognized skate park designers/constructors Team Pain of Florida.  

The skate park is “truly a community project,” Brown said.

For more information, see apexnc.org/485/Trackside-Skate-Plaza.

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