David Armstrong Extreme Park to close for project adding ramp, cleaning graffiti

The David Armstrong Extreme Park is a world-renowned skate park that has drawn people from all over seeking thrills, like Anthony Salvettici, who moved from New York to Louisville in 2011.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- The sound of clanging fills the air, mixed in with the usual sounds of skates and boards and bikes at the David Armstrong Extreme Park, this noise coming from behind a fence as the skeleton of a ramp begins to take form.

The David Armstrong Extreme Park is a world-renowned skate park that has drawn people from all over seeking thrills, like Anthony Salvettici, who moved from New York to Louisville in 2011.

"I moved down here actually specifically for the skate park," Salvatteci, a freestyle BMX rider, said. "I say this for everyone who comes here and enjoys this place, we are extremely excited."

The reason for his excitement can be seen behind that fenced-in area as crews work on installing a new halfpipe ramp, part of a $328,000 project to revamp the park, something Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith claims people she has spoken with have waited on for years.

"He grabs his skateboard out of the back of his truck and he said, 'Don't tell anybody, but I'm as excited as a kid in a candy shop about this new vert and getting the park cleaned up. This is the greatest thing that happened in a long time,'" she said.

The money, which was negotiated from the Federal Transportation Cabinet during the city's bridge construction project, will also go towards park maintenance and cleaning off the graffiti in the park, which can be seen on many surfaces.

"Graffiti is a challenge for us all throughout our community," Sexton Smith said. "And what we're learning is the faster that we remove the graffiti, abate that, the more effective it is in the long run."

While some park patrons don't mind the graffiti, others like Salvatteci said it would be nice to see something a little more artistic.

"What I think needs to happen is to clean all the graffiti, maybe let someone come in and do murals on the ramps, which would be very attractive," he said. "I've noticed that if there's a blank space, people will spray paint silly stuff on it, but if the space is already painted with something nice, they won't spray paint anything on top of it."

"Skating is an art and a science, so why not really fully embrace world-class art, because we have world-class artists right here in Louisville, some of them might even be skating in that park," Sexton Smith said.

Salvatteci also suggested painting arrows and guidelines around the park to help direct people, especially beginners who are new to the park layout.

The park will be closed from August 28 to August 31. It is expected to reopen September 1.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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