City crews begin work on skate facility in Buford Park
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor
Making Way

Mayor Freddie Taylor and daughter Imani talk with Community Development Director Johnny Vance about the planned skate park while fencing around the old tennis courts in Buford Park was torn down Wednesday morning. The courts are being removed to make way for the new skate park. The project is being funded through an initial $100,000 from the city and an additional $50,000 grant from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. 
Staff Photo By Kerry Craig

Sept. 28, 2006 - City workers began demolishing the old tennis courts in Buford Park Wednesday morning to make room for a skate park.

City Council members first looked into the possiblility of a recreational area for skate boarders and skaters more than a year ago when a large number of enthusiasts and their parents appeared before the council asking for help in finding a place to skate.

Parents of the skateboarders said that youths were forced to go to cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to find skate parks, and a similar park in Sulphur Springs would take skateboarders off streets, sidewalks and parking lots.

The council set aside $100,000, both for the project and to enhance an application to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife for a grant to help pay for a skate park.

A $50,000 matching grant was received from the state agency, with the requirement that the skate park be combined with other projects,  and that there be matching funds.

Community Development Director Johnny Vance identified the other projects as a new surface for the nearby all-weather basketball courts and the installation of additional picnic tables in the park.

To add to the project, City Manager Marc Maxwell said that excess cement from the Capital Improvements Program would be used for the park.

As work began on the future skate park this morning, workers removed the chain-link fencing and guard poles from the courts before starting the removal of the paved surface.

Lighting used for the tennis courts will remain in place and will be used to provide lighting for the skate park. Completion is expected in the near future.

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