Skaters concerned about changes at Chattanooga skate park

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Some Chattanooga skaters are concerned about the future of their skate park.

City officials say the building at the park was recently demolished because it’s now a skate at your own risk facility, with no fee to enter.

Cody Davidson loves skateboarding. He’s been coming to the Chattanooga Skate Park for five years.

“It is just where people go and express themselves and have fun,” Davidson said.

Recently he’s noticed some changes. The main office building, that housed bathrooms and water, was torn down.

“It is pretty much where everyone went to be warm, cool, hang out and just kind of relax, whenever you get hurt or something and now you’ve got to sit out in the sun,” Davidson said.

He’s also worried about the condition of the park.

“I think it is definitely a lot more treacherous at the moment. Just all of the little pieces of equipment from construction and little screws and nails laying around and they take all of the skate light and extra stuff for the park so if something breaks we have no way to fix it at the moment,” Davidson said.

Some people are so worried about what will happen that they’ve resorted to putting up flyers urging people to respect the area.

City officials say they recognize what an important asset this is to the community.
They say the building was demolished because the area is now skate at your own risk. They’ve added porta potties. Other changes include no fees and extended hours.

“I mean honestly they should expand on this park instead of trying to tear it down, or whatever they are trying do, and keep it alive. Because there is a large skate scene here and we are pretty much shunned by the rest of the city at the moment,” Davidson said.

Davidson says if there are any changes, he hopes it’s eventually the creation of a concrete park.

“The skate scene is growing rapidly here in Chattanooga and a lot of people come and visit. This is a large city and we need something better to suit and accommodate the skateboarders that come,” Davidson said.

Open Spaces is overseeing the planning phase of the park. Officials say recommendations for a new one could come out of that.

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