PORTSMOUTH — After months of waiting, area skaters finally got the news they were looking for Thursday.
Waiting for the word from the Army Civil Corps of Engineers, the Portsmouth Skatepark Project announced on Facebook that the design and location had been approved.
“At long last!!!!!!!!! We can finally write this post!!!! We’ll always remember this date, which is nearly 7 years to the day from when this page started,” the post reads, which garnered nearly 100 shares as of Friday afternoon. “Today is one of the most important days of bringing the best skatepark in our region to Portsmouth.”
Those that commented on the post expressed their excitement by showing skateboarding videos of themselves with the hashtag, #MakePortsmouthSkateAgain.
“This is awesome news,” one commenter replied. “I can’t wait till I can bring my children.”
The city of Portsmouth and Spohn Ranch, the Los Angeles-based company hired for skatepark design and build services, had been waiting for that official permission approximately for one year. As the project explained in their post, this wait was much longer than anticipated.
1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne, who started work on the project prior to his time with Portsmouth City Council, announced the construction and design documents had been sent to the Civil Corps during a January council session. At the time, it was believed construction would start in late March.
“This has been a long journey and I’m very much looking forward to getting that project off the ground and started,” he said during his Jan. 25 1st Ward report.
Within the next four months, the skatepark near the home of the former Weghorst Park cleared the remaining trees at the 4th Street and Jefferson Street area. Word of PSP has been spread across the globe through logo stickers reaching places such as Kentucky, New Jersey, and even Ireland.
Even with a longer wait, PSP expressed their gratitude for the Civil Corps and detailed the next steps for the park. Soon, Spohn Ranch will start its off-site construction of steel frames for the park, while at the local level further organization will take place through donations as they have in the past.
Once completed, those steel frames will be shipped to Portsmouth before a tentative construction start time between mid and late August.
“We will post updates on this process once we receive them, just as we have done with previous updates. We know this last part of the process wasn’t easy for many of you (it was worse for us!), but we cleared it just as we’ve done for every other part of this process,” the post concludes. “When we promised to #MakePortsmouthSkateAgain, we meant it. Thank you all for your patience. Never give up. We are nearly there.”
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter. © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.