California Skateparks, one of the world’s top skatepark design and construction firms, has conducted an initial site visit to Poe Mill, the first step in turning the makeshift park skateboarders created amidst the mill’s ruins into a designation for skaters.
The nonprofit Greater Greenville Parks Foundation is trying to raise an additional $13,000 for the company to hold community design meetings, create a 3-D rendering and provide a detailed construction budget.
“People from all over the world will know about us if we do this right,” said Ty Houck, Greenville County director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources.
The effort to build a skatepark in Greenville gained momentum in 2015 after the Innoskate skateboarding exhibit was brought in by the Children’s Museum of the Upstate. The park has since gotten the attention of the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Street League Skateboard Foundation, whose executive director, Josh Friedman, will be leading the 2020 Olympic effort for the United States.
“It’s amazing how much the site has changed even since Innoskate,” said Adrian Gallardo, owner of the Blazer Skate Shop on Laurens Road and an avid skateboarder. Gallardo is leading a grassroots effort to raise money for the park.
Plans for the Poe Mill Wheel Park far exceed what those do-it-yourselfers could have ever imagined for the park. Plans call for a 40,000-square-foot park for skaters and people who enjoy other recreational wheel sports such as roller-skating and rollerblading.
“People from all over the world will know about us if we do this right.”
-Ty Houck, Greenville County director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources, on the planned Poe Mill Wheel Park
“Greenville has plenty of parks,” Gallardo said. “But we don’t have anything like this.”
The proposed Poe Mill park is 8,000 square feet bigger than SK8 Charleston, a new skate park on the north side of the peninsula in Charleston that has been years in the making. Team Pain, a skate park design group from Florida, designed that park. SK8 Charleston features two pool-shaped bowls, one 12 feet deep and another six to eight feet deep. There’s a 200-foot snake run that includes different sized bends, hills, roll-ins and kickers. A street course modeled after downtown Charleston includes a quarter pipe, stairs, rails, funboxes and flats. It is expected to open by the end of the year.
Gallardo said the Poe Mill park is already known nationally among skateboarders. Poe Mill park will be a premier wheel park in the Carolinas that will attract skateboarders from a wide area, he said.
After the wheel park master plan and detailed cost estimate is complete, Houck will try to get the park included in the county budget.
Those interested in contributing to the Poe Mill Wheel Park may go to donate tab on the Greater Greenville Parks Foundation website at www.greatergreenvilleparksfoundation.org for more information.