Skatepark on track to be completed by next fall

Skatepark on track to be completed by next fall

By Zach Edwards, UCBJ Writer

Parkview Pool, a recreational establishment dating back to the 1950s, has been vacated since 2007. But after many citizen requests and the receipt of a significant grant, Cookeville officials now have plans to build a skatepark on that site.

The skatepark was recognized as a top need for the community after the Leisure Services and Public Facilities Department created a citizen’s committee – a group appointed to assess all aspects of recreation in the city.

The appointed committee evaluated two things: what was the best use of the land and what new accommodations could be developed for the community.

After it was decided a skatepark was, in fact, a need within the community, the choice of location needed to be made.

During the planning process, the committee looked at a number of properties, but it was ultimately decided the former Parkview Pool site would be the best location to transition into a skatepark.

“It has a support building, it’s already fenced, and it’s in the heart of town,” said Rick Woods, Cookeville’s Director of Leisure Services and Public Facilities.

Nearby Parkview Park hosts four nearby baseball fields, a playground, and picnic shelter and is across from Parkview Elementary School.

Woods and the committee applied for the Local Parks and Recreation Fund Grant Program administered through the Department of Environment and Conservation Recreation Educational Services and received a $400,000 grant.

“We received a matching grant; so in all we have $800,000 to spend on revitalizing, renovating and repurposing the Parkview Pool into a first-class, state-of-the-art skatepark,” said Woods. “We just signed the grant contract a month ago, so we are just now getting to the point where we can get to work on the project.”

The grant application states the committee has two years to complete the project, but Woods is confident the skatepark will be finished before then.

Nashville-based Hart Freeland Roberts Design Architecture and Engineering Firm, who helped with the Land Use Master Plan, are set to do the plans for the renovation of the old pool house at Parkview Park.

Members of the design firm also plan to meet with advocates of the skatepark, including local skateboarders, to examine the desires of the community.

Meanwhile, the Leisure Services and Public Facilities Department is currently in the process of developing the Request for Proposal (RFP) from qualified skatepark design companies.

While there’s been a large group of supporters within the community, Woods recognized the support of both the City Council and City Manager Mike Davidson and their involvement in the master planning process.

“That’s what really drives whether or not we can do these things,” Woods said. “If City Council members say we can’t commit matching dollars, then it wouldn’t happen.”

Parkview Park is located at 545 Scott Ave., in Cookeville.