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Published: Thursday, 3/13/2003

Hearing set to discuss proposed skate park at Highland


Plans for a state-of-the-art skate park in South Toledo's Highland Park will be discussed during a public meeting tonight.

Area residents are encouraged to attend to offer their comments, concerns, and suggestions, said Don Mullen, a member of the Highland Heights Neighborhood Association and the Highland/Woodsdale park advisory panel.

The skate park will be a permanent structure, he said, with ramps and other facilities that could be used for skateboarding, in-line skating, and bicycling activities.

Representatives from Toledo's department of parks, recreation, and forestry are to attend the meeting beginning at 6 p.m. at the Highland Park shelterhouse.

Design work on the skate park is under way, and the facility could be completed this year, said Steven Day, chief landscape architect for the parks department. A final cost has not been determined, he said, but the skate park is to feature a 10,000-square-foot concrete area and possibly five to seven pieces of equipment.

“We haven't determined all of the equipment yet. We are looking at different layouts,” Mr. Day said.

Public input is being sought on the design of the facility, said Mr. Day. Plans call for the skate park to be designed primarily for beginner and intermediate use with the ability to expand possibly into a more advanced area, he explained.

In addition, the city is considering the construction of a multipurpose path around Highland Park. The path would link to the skate park, Mr. Day said, but no timeline for that project has been set.

This is the city's first venture into a state-of-the-art skate park, he said. There will be no charge to use the park. It is to be located adjacent to the baseball field at Highland Park.

“I think kids in the neighborhood and kids from all parts of the city will come to this,” he said.

The skate park will help turn Highland Park into a destination place, he noted.

The Highland/Woodsdale park advisory panel is an informal group offering advice and ideas for improvements to the parks, said Mr. Mullen. “We'll attempt to raise funding for the parks,” he said. “We are trying to bring life back into the parks through some form of entertainment,” he said.

Neighborhood bands or dance groups might perform, or perhaps there could be karate demonstrations, he said, adding that funds could be raised through grants or by selling concessions.

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