City rolling along toward skateboard park

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Chicago company has been hired to design the skateboard park and walking/jogging trail complex at City Park.

The board Tuesday voted 3-0 to hire Pillar Design Studios, which specializes in skateboard park design, on the recommendation of the city’s advisory committee for the project. City grants administrator Marcia Weaver said hiring a professional design firm is required by the city’s $100,000 grant from Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for the skate park.

The city is building the 5,000-square-foot concrete skate park and rebuilding and relocating the walking trail. Weaver said the project’s estimated cost is $125,000. Pillar’s fee is 8 percent of that, or about $10,000.

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“We had six different design firms send in resumes. The two requirements were that they be licensed in the state of Mississippi and have experience designing skateboard parks,” Weaver told the board. “All six were reviewed by the committee. We looked at their resumes, their experience and qualifications. Some of them sent us photos of their work.”

She said one of Pillar’s principal partners is licensed in Mississippi. The company has designed more than 200 skate parks, according to its website, which includes a list of projects across the country, but none in Mississippi.

Weaver said the skate park committee, local skateboarders and members of SKATE MS from Jackson and Shape Up Vicksburg will meet later with Pillar representatives to discuss the design.

In another matter, the board voted 2-1 to reappoint John Ferguson and appoint Austin Golding to the Vicksburg Port Commission.

Alderman Sid Beauman cast the opposing vote. Beauman entered a substitute motion to appoint Golding and reappoint Rusty Hawkins to the commission, but it failed for lack of a second.

The city and Warren County each have two appointments to the port commission. A fifth member is appointed by the governor.

“I felt that Rusty Hawkins had been very active on the commission and he deserved reappointment,” Beauman said.

Hawkins said he would have liked to have been reappointed, adding, “I enjoyed my time on the Warren County Port Commission. I believe the commission is in capable hands and is going to do well and get things going for Warren County.”

A Vicksburg native, Golding is a graduate of St. Aloysius High School and has a bachelor’s degree in education from Mississippi State University. He is marketing, sales and customer service manager for Golding Barge Line.

“I’m excited to be involved in the community and make Vicksburg more inviting to new companies,” Golding said. “As a young person who is personally involved in the community and working for a good company that creates jobs, I want to do everything I can to bring new businesses in so they can take advantage of the good things that Vicksburg has to offer.”