Plans to build a skate park in the city of Meridian are moving forward after the city council on Tuesday approved a design contract with Grindline Skateparks Inc.
Grindline, a Seattle-based concrete skate park construction company, has previously built skate parks in Oxford and West Point.
Ward 5 Councilor Ty Bell Lindsey, who led the council’s effort to build a skatepark, said the $14,520 conceptual design proposal will include multiple Grindline visits to gather community feedback and design a skatepark. customized to meet Meridian’s needs.
Grindline, Lindsey said, will come to Meridian for an early launch event to meet with community and city officials. Next, the company will meet with the local skating community to determine the features needed for the city’s skatepark.
“The reason you have to meet the community is because you can’t build a project without the people who live here,” she said.
After gathering feedback, Grindline will develop a preliminary design and share it with the community for review, Lindsey said.
Finally, she said, using feedback from the preliminary design, the company will revise its design and create the final design package that the city can use to estimate costs and raise funds.
“They’re doing the full design so we can commercialize this to get even more grants and more funding for this project,” she said.
Ward 2 Councilor Dwayne Davis said he spoke to Grindline about the estimated costs for building the park. The company, he said, estimated the cost at around $50 to $60 per square foot.
Meridian’s skatepark, Davis said, would likely be around 10,000 square feet, which would result in a minimum price of $500,000 to $600,000.
“I know there’s another thing they’re not responsible for, and that’s the bathroom,” he said. “There will have to be toilets accessible to people with disabilities. We’re going to have to include all of that in the costs.
With bathrooms and other supporting infrastructure, Davis said the cost could reach $1 million.
The council’s approval of the design proposal started the process for the skatepark, but it also paved the way for supporters to begin raising funds for the construction of the park.
Community Foundation of East Mississippi executive director Leigh Thomas said the foundation is excited to be working on another park project.
“The Community Foundation would be very happy to work with the city on its park development program,” she said. “I think it’s great for the city and for our citizens to have access to our parks.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, council members, residents and local skaters expressed their support for the skate park and the positive impact the park could have on the children of Meridian. Council members, however, urged the community to join in the fundraising effort to find grants and donations that could pay for the construction of the park.
“Your job … is to help raise that money for the city,” Davis said.
Attempts to reach Grindline for comment were unsuccessful at press time.