May 2, 2016


Wadsworth wants kids’ input on new skate park

WADSWORTH — Design options for the city’s proposed skate park will be discussed at a meeting Tuesday at Steiner Youth Center.

The public is invited to the session, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Room A of the center, 567 School Drive.

The skate park committee, comprised of volunteers who are interested in building a facility in Wadsworth, has been fundraising for more than a year, attempting to reach its $25,000 goal.

After it does, the city will kick in another $75,000, a press release states.

Mike Smith, director of the Wadsworth Recreation Department, said $16,000 has been raised so far. Although the skate park committee is still $9,000 from its goal, it’s time to start the design process, he said.

“We feel if we can start the design process, kids can pick what items will go into the skate park,” Smith related. “We really want to get what is state-of-the-art (and) what skaters are looking for right now.”

He said other cities have made the mistake of not involving young people in the design of skate parks, and “we want to learn from those mistakes.”

“We want to learn from the kids, to make it what they want,” because they’ll be the ones using it, Smith related. “Their input is invaluable.”

Nick Moskos, a Wadsworth resident and landscape architect who has been involved with the design of skate parks in Cuyahoga Falls and Green, will lead a discussion Tuesday to determine whether the skate park should be a street, plaza or bowl park and what kinds of features it should include.

Smith said based on what he’s heard from skateboarders, most of them want street elements in the skate park.

“(A street park) has more features that are characteristic of where the kids go right now,” like curbs, steps, rails and picnic tables, he related, adding that when there’s no skate park, “the city becomes the park.”

A plaza park is like something one “would see in a downtown urban area” with “trees in planters, picnic areas, places where people would gather for a park-type experience,” Smith said.

He said there’s a “nationally known” plaza park in Kettering that can be viewed by visiting and clicking on “home,” then “skate plaza,” then “Kettering info.”

A bowl park is “more curved” and has “ramps that are not straight up and down,” Smith said, adding its design is similar to that of an in-ground pool’s.

“We may come up with a hybrid design,” he related. “It’s up to the kids to help us, to tell us what’s most attractive to them.”

Although a design hasn’t been determined yet, a location has.

“It will be next to Steiner Youth Center,” Smith said. “It’s a good place. It won’t bother neighbors (and) it’ll be easily supervised.”

The skate park committee is still collecting donations. Those who are interested in making one can call LaVonda Belviso at 330-201-1119 or Smith at 330-335-2859.

Quick Look

WHAT: Meeting to discuss design options for Wadsworth’s proposed skate park.

WHEN & WHERE: 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room A of Steiner Youth Center, 567 School Drive.