A $600,000 skate park will be built on land given to the City by the State Transportation Department at Liberty and Lower Linden Streets near Maryland Avenue.
The new skate park will be a street plaza course design with a bowl. Construction of the concrete facility is expected to begin in September once public bids for design and construction are issued this month.
Mayor Mike Purzycki said the more than half-million dollars in funding for the new park was granted to the city a few years ago by former State Sen. Robert Marshall and former State Representative Helene Keeley.
The mayor said the long-delayed park will be welcome news to the local skateboarding community in a city looking to add recreational activities for younger people.
A skateboard park also has the potential of reducing problems with nuisance and/or dangerous skateboarding in areas of the city and can be an attraction for younger millenials thinking about living int he city.
Purzycki also thanked Governor John Carney, Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan and DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin for helping the City obtain the land for the new park.
“A skate park has been the dream of Kevin Kelley and others for more than 20 years,” said Purzycki. “It was discussed, debated, planned, shelved and revived a few times in that order in the past two decades and now we’ve finally reached the day when Kevin Kelley, as Parks and Recreation Director, has the pleasure to join me in making this announcement. We are very grateful to former Senator Marshall and former Representative Keeley who, like Kevin, never gave up hope that a skate park would be built in Wilmington.”
Kelley was a member of Wilmington City Council in 2001 when he first proposed the idea of a skate park. “It may have taken longer than any of us expected, but soon people of all ages will enjoy a new City recreational facility that will feature a long overdue skate park. My thanks to everyone who has supported this idea in the past and will assist us as we move forward.”
Skateboard parks often get rough treatment with government bodies, due to liability issues and stereotypes carried around by older people.
“We are excited that this project is finally closer to becoming a reality for the City, and are happy that we could assist with providing a safe and convenient location for the park to call home,” said Delaware Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan.