Two possible designs are revealed for Berry Hill skate park in Lexington

jmadden@herald-leader.comMay 6, 2014 

Dreamland Skateparks designer Burke Morris said he is emotionally invested in seeing a skate park built at Berry Hill Park, off of Man o' War Boulevard and Buckhorn Drive on Lexington's south side.

Morris, 41, originally from Lexington, is responsible for designing and building the skate park, which got the go-ahead in March from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

"I've built parks all around the world," Morris said. "This is one of the most important parks that I'm excited about. To be able to come home to give back to the community, that's what it's about. Learn what you do and do it the best you can, and then give back to where you came from."

At a meeting at the Lexington Public Library downtown on Tuesday, Morris and Dreamland co-owner Danyel Scott revealed two possible concepts for the new park. They came from ideas offered by citizens during an April 8 meeting. The pair were seeking additional input on Tuesday.

The designs featured miniramps, benches, stairs and possibly a bowl that would be painted blue. The park will be wheelchair-accessible.

Some attendees at the meeting suggested adding flat space, having seven stairs instead of five, and adding a trademark feature that a man shouted should be a dragon. (So far, the park's trademark feature is planned to look like a horse.)

Steve Coy and his 10-year-old daughter Emmalee disagreed about which concept they liked best, but both said safety comes first. Emmalee was a fan of concept B because of its snake run, bowl and miniramp that could be used for beginners. Steve preferred concept A because he said he thought its layout would prevent accidents, unlike the snake run, which has four roll-in areas.

The new skate park will replace a swimming pool that was closed in 2011. The site was filled in a year later. The designs shown at the meeting would cover about 21,000 square feet.

A skate park that size would cost about $650,000, Scott said. No final decisions have been made about the design, she added.

Moving forward, citizens have a week to send any suggestions about the park for Dreamland to consider. From there, Scott said, the company will have two weeks to come up with a final design and submit it to the city. If the design is approved, the company will apply for a state permit and aim for groundbreaking by Aug. 1.

The city has set aside $575,000 for the project, but Friends for Skateparks, a non-profit organization, is hoping to raise additional money to provide a $1 million skate park. The group started an Indiegogo online fundraising campaign. Sponsors can buy bricks that would have their names on them; the bricks would be placed at the entrance to the park.

Dreamland has designed more than 60 skate parks around the world, including in Austria and Italy, according to the company's website.

Lexington became one of the first cities in the country with a skate park when Woodland Park's skate park was built in 1999. No city money went into that park.

Eighth District Council member George Myers said having a second skate park would be "transformative."

"It gives (kids) that don't otherwise have a way to express themselves an opportunity to do that in a way that isn't a team sport ... it's just you and your skateboard," he said. "We talk about fun, safe things for kids to do, and where they can go and thrive. The skate park is absolutely one of those things."

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service