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Club aims for campus skatepark

July 11, 2014
Left to right: Tech graduate with associate’s degree in physics Joshua Dean; Angelica Lavery, junior civil engineering major; Blake Dauzat, junior civil engineering are major working to create a skate park. –Photo by Devin Dronett

Left to right: Tech graduate with associate’s degree in physics Joshua Dean; Angelica Lavery, junior civil engineering major; Blake Dauzat, junior civil
engineering are major working to create a skate park. –Photo by Devin Dronett

Cody “Tick” McElroy
Managing Editor

Three students are on a campaign to add a skate park to campus recreational facilities. They recently presented a proposal to Bobby Dowling, director of recreational services, to turn the abandoned natatorium into such a park.

Although Dowling sees the need for a skate facility, he feel the natatorium is not the best location.

“I really need it located somewhere near the (Lambright) so we can supervise it,” Dowling said. He said possible locations include on the south side of the Lambright or preferably on the north side between it and Bearcat Drive across from Ruston High School.

The students who presented the proposal are Blake Dauzat, a junior mechanical engineering major; angelica Lavery, a junior civil engineering major; and Joshua Dean, graduate with an associate’s degree in physics.

“I think that property (natatorium) will be important on campus in the future with the master plan,” Dowling said. He said this is a campus-wide plan for the direction of facilities and infrastructure for the year 2025.

Yet Dowling supports establishing a facility somewhere and suggested it would need to be built near the Maxie Lambright Intramural Sports Center.

The park would be open to all members of the Lambright as well as all students.

After speaking with different construction companies who have done similar projects, Dowling said early estimates are around $500,000.

The proposal for a skate park coincides with a recent movement on campus to establish a BMX/extreme sports club. Dauzat is vice president of this group, which will apply for occicial university recognition.

“I think it’s critical to have substantial numbers in the club,” Dowling said. “That’s what the SGA will look at.”

Tech’s SGA will be instrumental in determining whether the project will be pursued.

Dean said he could only find six colleges with skate clubs across the country, and Lavery said there were only a handful with a skate park.

Dauzat said the benefits of having a park for students and members include not damaging property, skating legally  and having a safe environment away from traffic.

“It’s for anyone interested in the sport who needs a safe place,” Dauzat said.

Dean echoed some of the same concerns.

“That’s what this facility is for, to teach people safety,” Dean said.

Lavery described the positivity feels in helping establish such an influential facility.

“I’m an engineer, and I’m so excited because I feel if I can do this, there’s nothing that can stop me from building my own park,” Lavery said.

Dauzat, Lavery and Dean had been gathering signatures to support turning the natatorium into a skate park, but now are getting support for a new facility and establishing the BMX/extreme sports club.

Dowling noted the importance of getting student support: “It’s got to be a student initiative.”

Email comments to cjm048@latech.edu

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