By Morgan Bryce
Discussion of renovations to Opelika’s Floral Park was a highlight of Tuesday night’s Opelika Parks and Recreation board meeting.
Matt Battles, who is the city’s municipal area supervisor, presented a slideshow to members of the board about proposed changes to the park.
“We’ve been talking about having a skate park at Denson Drive, but I felt it was my job as supervisor to add more to those plans. I think we should move that skate park to Floral Park, but you can’t just talk about Floral Park without including the entire thing,” Battles said.
According to Battles, plans and discussion of constructing a skate park were to be tabled to next year, but said a “strong, grassroots movement” has caused him to reconsider.
“We’ve been trying to connect the city’s bike paths for a while…make it a bike friendly city, and with all the support this skate park has had recently, I thought, ‘Why not combine all of these efforts and make it one big project that we do sooner rather than later?’ “
Battles discussed the current state of Floral Park and what other amenities could be added, such as a dog park, intramural field and playground equipment.
Battles said the total cost of a skate park would range from $320,000 to $400,000, and the other projects in Floral Park cost an estimated $345,000. However, he said that community involvement would detract some from overall total cost of the projects, and that revenue made from having these improvements would “be a huge benefit for Opelika.”
A group of BMX enthusiasts presented the idea of constructing a BMX (bicycle motocross) track at Floral Park, which they said would bring in revenue because of fellow bikers and USABMX tournaments that take place nationally.
Finally, Battles presented the idea of a future water or splash park at Denson Drive, a complex that according to him, would be a “perfect place to bring together the north side of Opelika.”