DHS Skate Club Works with The City of Decatur to Renovate McKoy Skate Park


Member of the DHS skate club with club sponsor Chris Seldon, and Greg White of Decatur Active Living.

Matthew Yamamoto and Evan Casariego

In May of 2022, an anonymous donation of $200,000 was made to the Decatur Active Living Division with the purpose of renovating McKoy skatepark. After research and planning, The City of Decatur’s agenda was to buy $190,000 worth of new skateboard ramps from the American Ramp Company. The proposed plan did not include resurfacing of the park, lights, or any concrete on concrete options. The DHS skate club seems to think that this isn’t the best plan for McKoy.

Members of the DHS skate club, an official DHS club full of skaters, had a lot to say about the plan. According to William Poelker, a community member and avid skater, some of the main issues include: “Graffiti, which makes the ramps slick, old and broken ramps, broken lights and overall poor design.” According to another Decatur skater- and a member of the skate club- Daniel Godoy, one of the main problems with the park is a lack of “flow.” The design or flow of a skatepark matters because “it makes it easier to skate and allows there to be more room so that people don’t run into each other while they’re skating,” Godoy said. 

The skaters involved with this plan are concerned that placing $190,000 worth of ramps on the existing surface without any other improvements may not solve all of these problems with the park. 

“[The skate club] is going to work with the city and try to get a plan that makes everyone happy,” Heath Rowland, member of the skate community and founder of the Skate Club said. The Skate Club has been meeting bi-monthly after school to discuss the topic in Mr. Seldon’s classroom and plans to continue discussions throughout the renovation process. 

The skate club met with Greg White, the director of Decatur Active Living, at McKoy skatepark on Sept. 8 to discuss possible changes to the skatepark renovation agenda. 

“I think it’s important to have the skater’s voice,” White said, “I think the youth should have a voice.” During the meeting, White stated that approximately $400,000 would be needed to complete the renovations that the skate club is calling for.  

Although The City of Decatur hasn’t improved the skatepark since it was opened in 2003, these recent events make it very likely in the future. “[The renovation] would be good for us, and good for the community, ” Julian Berman, another member of the Skate Club, said.