• Construction on the new Cashiers-Highlands plateau skateboarding park has started, but is being slowed by days filled with fog, rain and even some March snows. It is expected to open off U.S. Highway 64 West sometime between April 1 and 15, if weather improves, according to recreation officials. (Photo by Dan Brown.)

New plateau skateboarding park expected to open in April off U.S. 64 West

Will feature multiple ramps, jumps and 4,000-plus feet of skatable surface

By Dan Brown / Staff

CASHIERS-HIGHLANDS PLATEAU -- Skateboard enthusiasts can get their skating fix on starting next month. A new plateau skate park is expected to open sometime between April 1 and 15 on U.S. Highway 64 West at Fourth Street as you head west into Highlands from Cashiers. Its official street address is 600 N. Fourth St.

However, some cooperation from Mother Nature is needed, meaning rain and snow could further delay the opening until later in the month.

According to Highlands Parks and Recreation Director Lester Norris, construction has begun on the new skating park, to be located on the Highlands Recreation Center grounds next to the playground.

“The weather has been causing us fits with construction on a number of projects, not just the new skate park,” Norris said. “But workers have really made some progress out there this (month).”

Originally, construction on the new skate park was supposed to start in February, but the weather stymied those plans.

“The construction crew chose to finish another project and come back when the weather cleared up,” Norris said. “They had a job down in Key West, Florida to do, so they went down there and finished it, and came back up last week.”

Construction started in earnest this month, and should take from four-to-five weeks to complete, again, weather permitting.

“The weather plays a big part in construction being completed on time,” Norris said.

Plans for the skate park include multiple ramps and jumps over about 4,000 feet of skatable surface for the skateboards-only park.

“The whole concept of the skate park rose out of trying to keep kids from skateboarding in Founders Park and on the gym floor here in the rec center,” Norris said. “You won’t believe the number of kids we’ve run off who were trying to find a place to skate.”

The unsupervised skate park gives skateboarding enthusiasts a place to ply their craft and hone their skills, without worrying about being asked to leave.

“We have an ordinance that forbids skateboarding on city sidewalks and in Founder’s Park. This gives kids a place to come and enjoy themselves,” Norris said.

The cost of fees to use the new plateau skate park will be announced later.

Its hours of operation will be 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

For information, call 828-526-3556 or visit http://highlandsnc.org/recreation.

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