When the Walton County Board of County Commissioners held a workshop Sept. 26 to look at locations for a proposed sports complex in South Walton, one aspect taken under consideration is whether a skate park needed to be included in the plans.
Matt Barton, assistant manager at Central Square Records, believes it does.
From Albany, Ga., Barton has already been a driving force behind getting a skate park built there, and he hopes to see it happen again in his new community of South Walton.
Barton, who has lived in South Walton for four years, has attended two or three meetings to discuss the possibilities of a sports complex for South Walton and he gave his input at the last one.
One of the sites under consideration would be obtained via a lease and due to the way the water lines are laid, it could not accommodate digging down to build the concrete bowl structure that is a skate facility, said Barton.
The two remaining sites under consideration include the one on U.S. Highway 98E just down from the new middle school site, and the other is located between U.S. Highway 98 and Chat Holley close to the dog park. Both of these sites could accommodate a skate park.
Barton feels certain that if a skate park were built in South Walton it would be filled with people and is a good way to support youth athletics in Walton County, and strengthen our surf/skate/beach culture.
"I feel like it would be used daily by at least 50 people a day, depending on whether it is little or big, especially since the 30A board shop is open and kids are purchasing boards," he said.
While Barton, 30, doesn’t do the skateboard thing any more, he does still enjoy riding his BMX at a skateboard park.
He used to drive with friends to Fort Walton to use its park, but that one closed. Since the closure, they have been driving to Tallahassee to use their skate park once or twice a month. If a skate park is built in South Walton he said he would use it two or three times a week.
"Like I said, I'm a little older, but I certainly hope we can get one built...,” he said. “It depends on what the community wants."