A rendering prepared by New Line Skateparks shows the planned High Point Skatepark in State College.
Efforts to build a long-planned public skatepark in State College are getting another boost, this time from a renowned nearby action sports camp.
Woodward PA will donate proceeds from its monthly open ride night to the High Point Skatepark project. The event will be held 4-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 in two indoor, heated spaces at the camp, 134 Sports Camp Drive in Woodward.
“We are so proud and excited to support a free public skatepark in our own backyard in State College,” Chris Hayton, skateboard program manager for Woodward PA, said in a statement. “With free skateparks at High Point Park and the professional facilities at Woodward, the sky’s the limit for local skaters. I can’t wait to see the talent pool grow.”
Skateboard, BMX, scooter and roller skate riders are all welcome, but only 150 spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $39 and pre-registration is suggested.
The High Point Skatepark volunteer committee is also bringing in VIPs for the event, thanks to Jake Johnson, the professional skateboarder and State College native who has been instrumental in the group’s work on the park.
“I’m calling in favors and getting a bunch of friends to show up,” Johnson said. “I really hope the local kids in the community come to skate with some of the best.”
With an estimated $1.9 million cost, organizers have raised more than $1 million to date for the 20,000 skatepark to be located at the borough-owned High Point Park off of Whitehall Road.
The wheelchair-accessible, plaza-style facility for sports like skateboarding, BMX biking, rollerskating and scootering will replace the unused baseball field at High Point Park, taking up about 3 acres of the 6-acre lot. It will be designed for all skill levels with amenities for park and street-style riding with ledges, stairs, rails, banks, a mini-ramp area, a brick volcano, quarterpipe, planting areas with boulders for seating spots and a center courtyard with a large granite pad.
High Point Park was selected, in part, because it is a short distance from State High, Delta and Corl Street Elementary and 1.7 miles from downtown State College. It’s accessible by car, CATA bus and a bike path.
While talk of a free and easily accessible public skatepark in State College dates back at least 25 years, the effort gained significant momentum in 2016 when a group of local parents and community members began working with the borough on a plan for what has been called an “action sports park.” In 2017, State College Borough Council voted to include the project in its Capital Improvement Plan and since then borough officials have worked to secure grants and determine a location, while volunteers led the charge on private fundraising and planning.
Johnson, who opened IQ Skateshop on South Pugh Street in 2021, and his father, Tim, a professor emeritus of landscape architecture at Penn State, came on board over the past years to develop the concept for the design. They enlisted New Line Skateparks, which has led design and construction on more than 350 municipal projects, to develop final technical designs and construction plans, and a final plan was drafted last spring.
Woodward’s fundraiser is part of a wave of high-profile contributions to the effort. In September, the skatepark was awarded a $250,000 grant from a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships Program, while in August it received a $30,000 grant from Tony Hawk’s The Skatepark Project.
A fundraising campaign is ongoing, and organizers anticipate they will be able to bring in the balance if they can demonstrate to big donors that there is substantial community support for the project.