Skate park proposed for Gillespie Street

What started as a 14-year-old’s dream could grow into a full-sized skate park in Starkville, one official dream-maker says.
Kuan Outlaw began skateboarding two years ago, he said during an interest meeting Thursday in a room full of about 50 enthusiasts.Outlaw has recently dreamed of having a safe place to skate in town instead of having to ride to one of the state’s 12 cities that have skate parks.
He is one of the 20 million Americans who skateboard, said Meagan O’Nan, who founded The O’Nan Project for Change, a program designed to empower middle school students by helping them overcome challenges and gain confidence.
“This project is still in the introductory stage,” she told the crowd.
One suggested site for a skate park could be the old basketball court at George Evans Park on Gillespie Street. A park that size would cost $44,500.
Starkville Parks and Recreation Department Director Matthew Rye said he would work with O’Nan to apply for up to $25,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation Grant, which would be awarded in December.
“We were told we have a really good chance,” O’Nan said. “But I think a lot of the funding is going to have to come from us.”
O’Nan suggested heavy fundraising and possibly asking the City of Starkville to contribute.
Volunteers signed up to serve on an advisory committee.