NEW ALBANY, Ind. — If you’ve driven along the river in New Albany this week, you may have noticed this: where there was once an old (like OLD) skate park, there is now a pile of rubble. This has lead many online to wonder what is being built in its place.
The answer: Another skate park.
The community is essentially trading the old in for the new; but, both the city and the Carnegie Center for Art and History are involved, and they say even if you’ve never set foot on a skateboard (and never will) you should still be stoked about this project.
“This is a brand new flow skate park,” said New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan. “It’s a combination of art and a terrific skate park all in one… It’s a piece of art and it’s functional all in one.”
“This is going to turn into a stylized Ohio River scene,” added Eileen Yanoviak, director at the Carnegie Center for Art and History. “We’ll see a steamboat feature—that’s going to be the main feature—and then there’s also the riverscape with the Ohio River banks, and also bridge features…. Even if you’re not going to skate in this park, you can experience the art of it.”
Nods to the Ohio River won’t be the only art themes in the new park. Some form of dedication is also being planned for Matt Brewer, a New Albany man who was killed while skateboarding in 2018. He had been collaborating on the new skate park proposal from the very beginning, and the team wants to make sure his spirit lives on at the park even if he didn’t get the chance to skate it in person.
“We know it means a lot to the community, it means a lot to us, and so we want to integrate a memorial into the skate park,” Yanoviak said. “We don’t know what that looks like yet. We’re working with the designers to come up with something creative but we will certainly honor Matt in that way.”
Demolition started this week, and the project is expected to move quickly. The hope is to have it finished and open to the public by the end of the year.
Mayor Gahan said that the city will be responsible for maintenance after the park is built, but that construction is being funded primarily through community sponsors. Duke Energy, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, SAMTEC Cares, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, the Humana Foundation, Develop New Albany, the Carnegie Center for Art and History, and SoIN are among sponsors that have made the park possible.
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