TEXT and PHOTOS
By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
In a little over two months, Cherokee skaters and BMX riders will have a facility that rivals those found in larger, urban areas. While construction is already underway, an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Cherokee Action Sports Park was held on Thursday, March 24.
“This project was started many, many years ago and has had a lot of players,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks who related the Cherokee Park will be equivalent in size to those found in Raleigh and Durham. “Our facility is designed just as well and as big as what those guys have.”
The Park, set on a 3.5 acre tract off of Acquoni Road in the Yellowhill Community, is slated to be around 12,000 square feet and features both street and bowl or transition skating elements. Last year, Chief Hicks submitted a resolution to fund the Park, which was unanimously approved by Tribal Council, for $600,000.
“It’s always good to see a good community project come together,” said Vice Chief Larry Blythe. “These are the types of projects that really mean something to this community.”
Jason Lambert, EBCI Office of Planning and Development director, said the project is set to be completed by the first week of June. He thanked the input of the local skaters and bike riders during the design phase of the project.
“In my 6 ½ years with the Planning Office, we received better community input on this project than on any other.”
Lambert also thanked Stewart Engineering from Raleigh, the lead consultant on the project; Pillar Skate Designs of Tempe, Ariz., the lead designer on the project; and local firm Cherokee Enterprises, the lead contractor.
Yellowhill Rep. B. Ensley commented, “I just want to thank everyone involved. Yellowhill sort of adopted the skaters when they moved the facility up here. They really took ownership of the little skate park and I’m sure they’ll do that here as well. It’s going to be a good project for all of the youth.”
Sylvester Crowe, Yellowhill Community Club chairman, said that he wanted to give a lot of credit to Rod Cooper whom he contacted when he first had the idea of a skate park in the community. “He (Rod) put a lot of effort in getting this started here. He deserves a great hand.”