Columbiana skate park support on upward slope

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2007

If you turn your television set to ESPN or ESPN2 it&8217;s likely you might catch a glimpse of skateboarding or bicycle motor-cross competitions. Sports like these have grabbed new interest among youth in the last few years ,and residents of Columbiana are taking notice.

Ruby Cardwell, chair of a group working to raise money for a city skate park, said not every child&8217;s spare time centers around tackling or dribbling. &8220;We have sports like football, basketball, cheerleading and baseball,&8221; Cardwell said. &8220;That&8217;s not for every child. We need something for every child.&8221;

The city of Columbiana voted in April to donate two acres of land for the park to be built. The city also agreed to match contributions up to $35,000. The resolution for the park says the city will begin construction once 80 percent of the funds are raised. The group currently has $1,866 in donations. Cardwell knows that&8217;s still far away from their goal but hopes community members will lend their support.

&8220;We are trying several different ventures right now,&8221; Cardwell said. &8220;We hope by spreading the word we will get interest peaked in the town for the skate park.&8221;

The group can also ask the city to apply for a Shelby County Commission grant once they have raised $10,000.

Joel Powell, of Columbiana, said he believes the project will happen. &8220;I think everything&8217;s in the mix and it&8217;s cooking,&8221; Powell said. &8220;Once we can paint a picture for the appropriate people so they can see what we see, I think it all will come together.&8221;

The project is expected to cost around $100,000 including equipment and installation. Powell said it could be done cheaper but the current bid of $108,000 is for steel equipment, which requires no maintenance and is durable.

Cardwell said the plan will include more than just a skate park and that she hopes it will be something that the entire community can enjoy. She said she would like to see a walking trail and gazebo also added on the land.

Anyone interested in donating money to the skate park fund can do so at M & F Bank.