BY MEGAN MOORE
“Old skater” and Granbury Baptist Church Associate Pastor Shawn Lutgen moved to Granbury five years ago.
With twin 10-year-old boys who skate and a desire to skate himself, Lutgen said the thing he and his family missed most about the town they moved from was the skate park.
Lutgen won’t have to miss it any longer.
The Granbury Skate Park opened Thursday.
Skaters of all skill levels will be able to practice tricks and “getting air” at the park located off Crossland Road near the soccer fields.
The skate park has locals and out-of-town skateboarders ready to put their boards to the pavement.
Talks of a skate park in Granbury have been taking place for 22 years, according to Jean Cate, chair of the Granbury Parks and Recreation Board.
In March 2013, a skate park in Granbury moved closer to reality when the City Council approved the creation of phase one of the proposed skate park.
“The park has lighting, parking and is patrolled,” said Cate. “Kids will take care of it because it’s their park.”
The parks board wants kids to have somewhere to skate – somewhere without red lines saying that skating is prohibited, Cate said.
With skateboarding growing in popularity across the nation, a skate park in Granbury is a welcome addition.
“Skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports,” said Yann Curtis, owner of SPA Skateparks, the company that built Granbury Skate Park.
Skateboarding is a fun activity for those who are not interested in traditional sports, he said.
Many skaters are ecstatic about the new park.
“There has been some demand (for a skate park) for years,” said Lutgen.
He stated that he has been travelling an hour or more with his children and with kids from the church to visit a skate park.
David Parker, assistant manager of Games and Movies Traders (also known as Circle A SK 8 Shop) in Granbury, said locals travel as far as Arlington and Grand Prairie to skate.
He anticipates that not only will skateboarders stay in Granbury with the opening of the new attraction, but skateboarders from out of town will visit the Granbury Skate Park.
“I’ve been running by (the park) and taking pictures, posting them on (the store’s) Facebook page. People from all over are ready to come,” Parker said.
Competitions will bring in out-of-town skateboarders, but the park’s unique features are also expected to be a draw.
Curtis said the Granbury Skate Park was designed with local skaters and officials in mind. He said SPA does not have a catalogue of skate parks to offer to clients but, instead, focuses on the community.
“We like to include unique things,” Curtis said.
For the Granbury Skate Park, Curtis said his favorite feature is the Comanche Peak silhouette. It displays a dedication to Keith Callahan, who recently retired as city services director.
There are other features designed with the preferences of skateboarders in mind.
“We were really happy to bring a fully encapsulated bowl,” Curtis said.
The bowl is like a swimming pool without water, allowing skaters to “get air” and practice maneuvers. It has three pockets with depths ranging from 3 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 5 inches.
The park also includes three plaza lanes, several rails and ledges, a stair set and a quarter pipe.
The parks board does not intend on stopping after phase one. The next phase is to cost $316,000.
“We are going to raise it,” Cate said. “We are committed.”
City Manager Wayne McKethan has said he intends to include future phases in city budget discussions, whenever funding is available.
People who are interested in the skate park are encouraged to join Friends of Granbury Skate Park on Facebook and donate money for phase two.
June 21 will be the grand opening and dedication of the park. There will be a competition that day, which is International Go Skate Day.
All money raised will go towards the skate park.
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