Wednesday, July 18, 2001
DALLAS -- The official opening of the Dallas skate park July 16 brought not only applause, but the roar of hundreds of wheels on smooth cement.
Skateboarders, in-line skaters and scooter fanatics sat on the new facility or paced in anticipation of the ribbon cutting. The community members who helped make the park a reality grabbed a pair of oversized scissors to cut an oversized ribbon together. As soon as they did, the skate park erupted into the chaos that will become familiar over the years to come. An officially sanctioned chaos.
The new park has spurred 17-year-old Derrick Coffelt to pick up skateboarding. "It's a good park to learn on," said Coffelt, who has only skated for a few days. "There was nothing here before."
Allen Boal likes watching experienced skaters use the park. "It's fun to watch the older kids do bigger tricks," said Boal, 10. "You can study them and see what they do and sometimes get advice from them.
"It's got everything you need," he said. "You can use creativity and mix jumps together and make two."
Dallas City Manager Roger Jordan announced plans to incorporate the skate park into a larger sports complex. Located next to the aquatic center on LaCreole Drive, the complex will contain sports fields and courts as well as a picnic area.
The Dallas skate park came about through a combined effort from Youth for Dallas Skate Park, the Dallas Kiwanis Club, Dallas Action Together and the City of Dallas.
The James W. Fowler Company contracted with the City to build the park structure, donating its profit and overhead to the project.
Jordan recognized each group involved in the park's four-year journey from vision to concrete structure. Representatives spoke to the assembled crowd and accepted plaques from Youth for Dallas Skate Park.
After the ribbon cutting, skaters split their time between practicing their moves and eating the free celebration cake.
The skate park cost $130,000 to build.