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Paving the Way

Construction has begun on the skateboard park at the corner of Etna and Fourth streets in Ironton. Crews started excavating and concrete work Monday. The skating equipment will come later.

“We’re probably at least a couple of months away from putting in the skate equipment,” said Brett Thomas, recreation director for the City of Ironton. “The concrete’s going to have to cure for a while.”

Once completed, the area will be more like a skating plaza than a traditional skate park, Thomas said. So far, concrete paths have been made at the park. Ramps and rails will be installed next.

The park will offer skaters an alternative to skating in other parts of the city and on private property. In that regard, skating had been a problem in some places.

“It’s probably more a problem in the private sector than the city,” he said. “People have got benches set up and they don’t want them torn up.”

The idea of the park is “giving (skaters) an area to do the same type of skating here,” he said.

Besides a $5,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, the entire $70,000 cost of the park was paid for with donated funds.

“I think it will be really popular,” Thomas said of the park. “I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

He noted that the park can be a draw for people not only in Ironton but throughout the Tri-State.

“There’s (a skate park) in Ashland but it’s nothing like this one is going to be. It’s a half pipe ramp and some rails,” he said.

Unlike the one in Ashland, all of the equipment at the Ironton park will be removable.

“Everything we’ve done can be removed,” Thomas said. He added that he does not anticipate having to remove the equipment.

“Once it’s in place, they’ll stay here I guess as long as the community wants it here.”