In 1997 Columbia's downtown business community asked the City to deal with the skateboarding problem in that area. The request lead to a vocal appeal to the City to provide a place for this group of young people to practice their sport. In September of 1997, the City Council approved the development of a skate park.
The actual design of the park was achieved by combining the talents of the park planner with the expertise of a design committee made up of skateboarders and inline skaters. This process proved to be very effective in that it allowed the future user group to express their desires and to educate the planner. The types of materials, maintenance concerns, safety concerns, and operational issues were among the most important matters considered. The actual construction plans and specifications were completed by the planner. The skaters have a very strong sense of ownership in the park, and this may be the most important benefit of the joint planning effort.
The skateboard park is approximately 175 feet wide and 160 feet long, making a total of 28,000 square feet of concrete. The design is described as an elaborate street course that incorporates many popular features including: transitions, flat ramps, spine ramps, pyramids, curbs, 525 feet of coping, and 75 feet of grind rails.
The roller hockey rink adjacent to the skateboard facility offers participants a chance to skate on a rink whose size and surface material is specifically designed for the sport of roller hockey. The rink is bordered with hockey dasher boards. This facility is open for pick up skating.
Construction costs for the skate park totaled $64,000. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department designed, constructed, and landscaped the park, using $39,000 from the Public Improvement Fund. The park would not have been possible without the generous support of Columbia Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club. Their donation of $25,000 enabled Parks and Recreation to move forward with plans to create a large, durable skate park that would best serve Columbia.