Skaters in Florence partner with city to rebuild skate park

Skaters in Florence partner with city to rebuild skate park

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - From cracks in the concrete to gaping holes on the ramps, the city of Florence and local skaters are looking to invest $200,000 to rebuild the skate park.

The skate park was built in the early 1990s and had a few ramps replaced in the early 2000s.

The park is also nearly double the size of the Matt Hughes Skatepark in Myrtle Beach, which spent more than $100,000 to renovate their park.

If you look closely at the skate park you can see how much wear and tear the ramps and concrete has taken over the years. However, that hasn’t stopped skaters like Cody Collier from coming out and showing off his skills.

“It’s skateable, but it’s dangerous at the same time and easy to catch an edge and get cut,” said Collier.

Collier has only been skateboarding for two years and was instantly hooked the second he stepped on a board.

Despite the dilapidated park, there is a ton of talented skaters here in Florence.

“I can’t imagine what people who skate the Florence park would be like if we had a better park,” said Collier.

In 2018, the city of Florence approved $15 million for capital improvement projects throughout the city, which includes the skate park.

“Many of the amenities that are here now are no longer up-to-date so we want to do more of a concrete structure park and hope to have that in place within the next year,” said Chuck Pope, Public Works Director for the city of Florence.

In total the entire renovation will cost $200,000, nearly double the amount Myrtle Beach spent to update the Matt Hughes Skatepark.

But with nearly double the space, riders believe the sky is the limit.

“I would love to see a bowl or something out here because there’s like a huge hundred foot area over there that has nothing,” said Florence BMX Rider Tyler Willis.

To help with the project, FloSk8, a group of local skaters, have partnered with the city of Florence to help raise an extra $50,000 for the park.

“For me it would be an opportunity to just help young people, give them a place to go and enjoy skating, whether it’s rollerblading or skateboarding,” said Tim Suggs, the treasurer of the Florence Skate Park Committee.

With skateboarding added to the 2020 Olympics, skaters like Collier believe with an updated and safer park, one day a skateboarder could represent Florence at the Olympics.

“Once you have the place to be able to grow it’s exponential it’s insane,” said Collier.

If you’d like to donate to the FloSk8 Park, click here.

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