Crestview skate park rolls closer to reality with $100K donation from Eglin Federal Credit Union
CRESTVIEW — Eglin Federal Credit Union has donated $100,000 to a new skate park, helping put the park on track for a grand opening in mid-April.
With the donation and the Jan. 25 approval of the Crestview City Council, a public-private partnership’s more than yearlong efforts to raise money for the local skate park is coming to fruition. Construction will begin soon on a city-owned property behind the Brookmeade Drive fire station.
Hub City Skate on Main Street is one of the driving forces behind the project and has been helping raise funding for the park, which is not expected to cost more than $350,000, according to a news release from the city of Crestview. Recently, EFCU stepped up to sponsor the project with naming rights.
“Eglin Federal Credit Union is excited for the opportunity to help support this important community service for Crestview area youth,” a statement from the credit union said.
As presented to the council by City Manager Tim Bolduc, the park will offer several areas for skaters of different experience levels. A professional skate park design firm conducted a survey of Crestview skaters to determine their skill levels and desired equipment.
“American Ramp Company evaluated the needs of our community through public engagement and worked directly with our team to create a unique design,” Bolduc said in his presentation to the council. “The public survey reflected 70% (of responders) identified as beginner or intermediate skaters.
“A street course, areas for youth, rails and stairs were specifically requested. The design includes a beginner area with a rail, ledges, low impact pump bump, and manual pad. It also includes a streets section with various height banks, ledges and stairs, and a half bowl.”
The Eglin Federal Credit Union Skatepark, as the facility will be known, will share the same area in the Redstone section of town as the radio-controlled vehicle park, offering Crestview residents greater opportunities for family fun, city officials said.
Bolduc said the city also is pursuing a grant under a national program designed specifically to build municipal skate parks.
“In review, the current year’s budget and residual funds in undesignated fund balance, it is possible to fund the total amount this year and continue to work on sponsorships and grants,” he said during the Jan. 25 meeting. “While this would require spending more than initially budgeted, it does provide advantages in cost savings for reduced mobilization and disruption of services.”
When offered the option of either funding the entire park as designed or building segments during the next three to four years, the council agreed to fully fund the park.
However, thanks to EFCU’s generosity, the city won’t have to reach so far into its coffers, and the entire park as designed will be completed in one project, the release said.
“We are incredibly thankful to have a private partner like Eglin Federal Credit Union to help us build this long-awaited for park for our citizens,” Mayor JB Whitten said. “It’s partnerships like these that make Crestview such a great place to live.”
City leaders hope the Eglin Federal Credit Union Skatepark will be completed and open by the April 19 start of Okaloosa County schools’ spring break.