DHS Junior Julian Berman secures $175,000 grant from Decatur City Commission for future renovation of McKoy Skatepark


DHS Skate club sponsor Christopher Seldon (left) and Decatur Active Living Director Greg White (right) pictured with members Heath Rowland (front left), Luke Purcell (back left), Daniel Godoy (center), Mcleod Misner (front right) and Julian Berman (back right).

Matthew Yamamoto and Evan Casariego

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Decatur High School (DHS) Skate Club member Julian Berman addressed the Decatur City Commission at their bi-monthly City Hall meeting. He spoke about the possibility of renovating the McKoy Skatepark, a haven for the Skate community of Decatur. 

Director of Decatur Active Living Greg White attended the meeting in support of Berman’s speech, as well as the members of the DHS Skate Club.

“We hoped to receive a $200,000 grant to make a better park,” Julian said. “We needed that money for some concrete renovations, to make the park safer and elongate the life of the park.”

The renovation process of McKoy Skatepark was kickstarted in May of 2022, following an anonymous donation of $200,000 to the City of Decatur Active Living Division. After hearing of this donation, DHS sophomores Heath Rowland and Bishop Pelot started the DHS Skate Club with help from club sponsor and teacher Christopher Seldon. For more about the Skate Club, you can read the article “DHS Skate Club works with The City of Decatur to renovate Mckoy Skatepark”, also on 3ten.org. 

Since the inception of  DHS Skate Club, members have been meeting with Greg White to discuss where the money should be allocated and whether the funds are sufficient for Skatepark ideas.

 “Mr. White has been really supportive throughout the process by meeting with us and making sure our voices are heard,” Rowland said. 

During the Decatur City Hall meeting, Berman presented a slideshow that outlined what DHS Skate Club wants the park to include, as well as examples of other Georgia Skateparks in order to renovate McKoy to the liking of the community. 

After Berman’s speech, the Decatur City Commission voted on the proposal. The Commission unanimously decided to grant $175,000, thus increasing the overall project funds to $365,000. This money will be paid to the American Ramp Company, a skatepark company that the DHS Skate Club chose to renovate McKoy. The extra funding will finance the installation of better and more durable skate ramps. 

“The money the city gave us was enough to check a lot of things [the skate club] wanted off our wish list,” Berman said. 

Although the park does not currently have an official layout, McKoy Skatepark is on track to be renovated within the next two years. 

“Meeting with the council and advocating for the sport that I love really brought me closer to my hometown’s community,” Berman said. “I’m hoping the renovations will provide a place for all people to come together and just skate.”