Sick Tricks and Sweet Rides
BY HANAH SNYDER AND KEYLA FRANKLIN
JHT Staff Writers
After nearly two years of waiting, skateboarders in the area will be stoked to learn about an upcoming development across the street from John Hopkins Middle. Beginning in April, the city of St. Petersburg will start construction on a new skate park in Campbell Park.
The skate park will be one of the largest in the state, taking up nearly 28,000 square feet. St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Director Michael Jefferis says the 1.6-million-dollar project will be a regional attraction. The money for the project comes from the city’s Weeki Wachee Fund, an endowment fund established following the sale of two plots of land in Hernando County.
“It will provide a positive recreational experience for the folks who come in, but also bring a lot of new people into the area,” said Jefferis.
The city worked closely with members of the St. Pete Skate Park Alliance to design the park, which will include a 12-foot bowl and a snake run for younger skaters.
St. Pete Skate Park Alliance founder Nick Nicks was instrumental in the creation of the park. In anticipation of the park, Nicks and business partner Rob Brown opened Anchor Skate Supply in January on the northeast corner of Campbell Park, just a block north of J.Hop.
“We’re really excited for the park,” said Nicks. “So far the opening has gone fantastic. We’ve had many customers come in.”
When walking into Anchor Skate Supply, potential skateboarders are surrounded by all the gear they’ll need to shred the new ramps in style. Along with hoodies, t-shirts, and hats with the company’s logo on it, the store is full of color skateboard decks that can pass as works of art.
Nicks and Brown plan on working with the city in the future to help with the success of the park, possibly partnering for special events.
By building a regional skate park destination, the city hopes it will deter crime in the area.
“Appropriate park users will drive out inappropriate park users,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jefferis. "Inappropriate park use could be someone who is vandalizing the park, someone who is sleeping in the park illegally after hours, and someone who is doing who knows what in the park.”
Construction of the park is expected to be completed by the end of summer, just in time for prime skateboarding weather. Luckily for skateboarders old and new, Anchor Skate Supply is just a quick kick and push away for all your skating needs.
Ajla Kuc contributed to this story