Municipal parks projects are typically funded entirely with taxpayer money.
But the new Rodgers Family Skate Plaza in Apex has enjoyed a number of private donations, illustrating how residents are buying into the project.
The skate plaza, on Hunter Street near the intersection with Salem Street, cost nearly $1 million to build. Private donations of cash, labor and materials have accounted for about $300,000.
Kyle Dennis, owner of Apex Board Shop and Apex Outfitter and Board Co., is the latest to pitch in. The Apex Town Council accepted a $20,000 donation Tuesday from Dennis’ company in exchange for sponsorship and naming rights for the 8-foot-deep competition bowl at the park.
The Apex Board Shop bowl is just one named component of the 40,000-square-foot skate park. The park’s name changed from Trackside after John Rodgers, a local mortgage lender, donated $100,000 to the project.
The park will open to the public Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10 a.m. with a ceremony, including demonstrations, a DJ, food trucks and more.
With naming rights for the park and the competition bowl taken, that leaves one final naming rights opportunity for any interested group, business or individual.
John Brown, Apex’s director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, said the town would like a sponsor to build a bandstand pavilion in the future.
The Apex Chamber of Commerce had pledged $80,000 toward building a pavilion in February. But Brown said the chamber later withdrew the donation, and the town doesn’t want to build the structure without outside help.
Chamber President Shannon Flaherty said the chamber still wants to help, so they’re planning a benefit sometime this fall.
The bandstand, if it is built, will be toward the back of the park near the railroad tracks.
In the meantime, Brown said, the town will erect a temporary shade there to block some sun for the skaters.
“Middle of the summer, that concrete’s going to get hot,” he said during a visit to the park earlier this month.
Security and safety
As the park opening approaches, officials are keeping an eye on the park site, which has been mostly finished for several weeks but waiting on final touches before the grand opening.
Brown said officials learned there has been at least one instance of a failed attempt to sneak in, as evidenced by a skate board found stuck in the mud.
He thinks someone threw the board over the chain link fence surrounding the park but ran away before climbing over.
Brown noted a video camera at the park monitored by Apex police officers. He said it’s being used now to watch for trespassers. When the park is open, they’ll monitor it for injuries or illegal activity.
There is an emergency phone at the park that has a direct connection to police in case someone needs to report an incident or injury.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran
Apex’s Rodgers Family Skate Park
Opening: Saturday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: 1250 Ambergate Station, at corner of Hunter and Salem streets
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. March-October, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. November-February