CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) — The nonprofit organization Skate Upstate is raising money to build a skatepark in Clemson.
“It just makes sense that we would have a skate park in Clemson because there’s such a need here,” said Brandon Cruz, a board member of Skate Upstate. “We have such a population of skaters here, not only locally but in the surrounding communities.”
According to the organization, the closest public skateparks are more than an hour away from Clemson.
“Oftentimes, kids are finding parking lots or they’re skating on campus, and they’re getting kicked out of those places because skateboarding is not allowed,” said Cruz.
“Back when I was younger in Greenville, there were three skate parks that are no longer there now,” added Brady Craig, vice president of Skate Upstate.
If approved by the city, the park would be built next to the pump track at Clemson Park, which skateboarders currently share with bikers.
“I really want to see a good street course — lots of flat bars, lots of stairs,” described Craig. “That’s what the majority of people are into.”
Skate Upstate has been meeting with Clemson City council about this project, hoping to gain their support.
“This would be a big win for the community,” said Clemson City Councilmember John Fulmer.
Fulmer said updating Clemson Park is a priority.
“We just recently had a strategic planning session,” said Fulmer. “I’d like to see us be able to move forward with it during the next fiscal year, which would be a skate park there, splash pad up there, and then we’ll update the pavilion. This whole area here will be a real hub when it’s all said and done.”
Skate Upstate’s goal is to raise $100,000. They hope the city will contribute some funding as well. $13,000 has been raised so far. A large part was donated by a woman who tried to get a skate park built in Westminster before she passed away.
“I think Clemson having a place for people to participate in this now-Olympic sport would be really beneficial to the overall area,” said Craig.
If you’re interested in learning more about the project or donating, you can visit Skate Upstate’s website. Two anonymous donors will match donations up to $1,000 if they are made through March 17.