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Skate park designer wants to hear kids ideas
Hall County plans to include facility in new park in Cool Springs
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Renowned skate park designer Wally Hollyday came to Chestatee Middle School on Tuesday to hear from local skaters about what they want in the upcoming Cool Springs park.

Hollyday came to the meeting with design concepts for display but said the final design depends on what skaters in Hall County want.

"The specifics of it we kind of leave up to these guys," Hollyday said. "I look for the user to kind of influence me."

Hollyday, who flew in from California, said the goal for the Cool Springs skate park is to make it diverse and provide space for young skaters to learn as well as advanced skaters to perfect their craft.

"I want to see the standard of skating go up," Hollyday said.

The Cool Springs Park, which will be built on 85-acres of land donated to Hall County by Cool Springs LLC, will include a skate park and BMX trails along with traditional ball fields and multi-use trails.

Currently the closest skate park is Duncan Creek Park in Gwinnett County, so Hall County skaters are excited about having a skating facility nearby.

Jordan Galloway, a fifth-grader at Lanier Elementary School, came to the public meeting with his mother, Robin.

"We’re both excited," Robin Galloway said after looking at the designs for the park. "Right now we go all the way to Gwinnett."

Jordan Galloway said he is most excited about skating in the large, bowl-shaped structures planned for the park.

Barry Hicks, a freshman at East Hall High School, said he is looking forward to having a place closer to home where he can skate without getting into trouble.

"If I’m not at Duncan (Creek Park) I’m skating in the subdivision," Hicks said.

Hicks’ mother, Christine, said she thinks it is important to have a skating facility in the county because it gives kids something productive to do.

"It keeps teenagers occupied instead of into mischief. That will be good for them," she said.

Greg Walker, director of Hall County Parks and Leisure, said he hopes providing a forum for skaters to participate in the design will help them feel ownership for the park.

With no facilities, they get in trouble for skating on public streets, parking lots and shopping centers.

"They feel harassed because they have nowhere to skate," Walker said.

Commissioner Billy Powell, whose district will house the park, said he thinks the park will be a unique asset to the county.

"I think having (Hollyday) here is really going to set this park apart," Powell said. "I love his process."

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