March 26, 2021 HUNTSVILLE, AL – A new cutting-edge sports complex designed by Team Pain is heading to John Hunt Park, this time in the form of an innovative skatepark that will challenge skaters, from professional to novice. The Huntsville City Council approved a resolution on January 14, 2021 that authorized the Mayor to enter into an agreement between the City of Huntsville and Friends of Parks & Recreation for the construction and maintenance of the John Hunt Park Skatepark.
“Skateboarding continues to grow in popularity and is a sport the community has long wanted to see in John Hunt Park,” said Mayor Battle. “We’ve been holding a space in the park for skaters, and thanks to the support of the local skate community we’re able to start moving forward on a project this year.”
1978’s Get-A-Way Skatepark, created from the design inspiration of the Atlanta professional skateboarder Bill Underwood, was a revolutionary balance of function and fashion. Underwood dreamed of a skatepark that offered features challenging to skaters of any style and skill level. His design made Huntsville a model of futuristic skatepark environments that skatepark designers and builders are still inspired by today.
One such designer is Team Pain owner and President, Tim Payne, who shared a personal relationship with Bill Underwood, and is designing a complex for John Hunt Park that blends the iconic and historical portions of Huntsville’s Get-A-Way skatepark with the modern elements exciting and challenging to both Olympic and street-style skateboarding. Team Pain brings over thirty years of experience creating specialty and municipal skateparks to the project. Payne shares, “Our goal is to create a brand new and exciting experience for park users in the area that pays tribute to Huntsville’s rich skate history while creating a space for Huntsville’s skate future.”
Skateparks are outlets for creativity and art but also provide training grounds for Olympic hopefuls as skateboarding has been approved for inclusion at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France. Team Pain will partner with Outdoor Solutions, Atwell Engineering, and Schoel Engineering to construct the world-class skatepark and supporting facilities in a three-acre site in John Hunt Park between Kids Space and the championship soccer fields with an expected completion date in summer 2022. Payne continues, “We want to provide a unique, fun, and challenging experience for park users young and old, and to bring Huntsville locals as much pride in their new park as they did for Get-A-Way Skatepark.”
Working in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, an account has been established to continue fundraising to support the total cost of the project, expected to be about $4 million. Melissa Thompson, CEO and President of the Community Foundation, says, “We strive to help our donors be generous, however that looks for them. We are excited to help bring to life the John Hunt Skatepark, which will enhance the quality of life and bring new opportunities to a diverse group of people in our community.”
Team Pain will soon announce a date for an online community meeting and questionnaire to allow the Greater Huntsville community input on a design that appeals to modern riders while paying homage to the obstacles that garnered Get-A-Way Skatepark national attention for a design unique to this community.