Shredders of all ages in western North Carolina will find a warm welcome in downtown Spindale next year as town leaders move forward on plans for the region's first skatepark and pump track.
Thanks to a generous 1.6-acre donation of land from Spindale United Methodist Church and a $300,000 leadership grant from Meta, the company that pioneered the social media platform Facebook, the state of the art skatepark and pump track will offer visitors to Spindale yet another reason to enjoy the town's recreation-oriented outdoor spaces. Spindale town leaders have continued to prioritize investment in outdoor recreation opportunities as a means of improving quality of life for residents and visitors and to draw business opportunities to the downtown.
"We're proud to support the Spindale Skatepark & Pump Track. It's an exciting enhancement to the Thermal Belt Rail Trail and will be a tremendous amenity for our community. We are grateful to the team of local business, civic and government visionaries who have come together to create this unique experience that will be enjoyed by all of our neighbors in Rutherford County."Tara Tenorio, Meta Community Development Regional Manager
The future Spindale Skatepark & Pump Track will be located at the intersection of East Main and Steward Streets in Downtown Spindale, on 1.6 acres of land donated by the Spindale United Methodist Church and is directly adjacent to the Thermal Belt Rail Trail (TBRT). Scott Webber, Spindale's town manager, says the skatepark is a long-held dream that is now becoming a reality. He says Meta, in combination with other generous donors, has helped them move forward with a tangible timeline toward completing the project some time in 2023. Meta has been part of the WNC community since breaking ground on its Forest City Data Center in 2010.
“If it weren’t for Meta’s investment in our community, the Skatepark would simply not be possible at this time. Their initial funding has been the catalyst, the spark needed, to move this project from concept to reality and has led to additional funding partners coming to the table to help bring this project to fruition.”Scott Webber, Spindale Town Manager
The proximity of the Spindale Skatepark & Pump Track to the Thermal Belt Rail Trail is an excellent opportunity to attract a brand-new user group to the trail. The TBRT is a remarkable community asset that originated from a concerted effort to connect several municipalities and encourage collaboration within the county. As the trail continues to grow, these relationships have been cemented and additional communities have been brought into this joint effort.
Spindale United Methodist Church leadership says this is an exciting opportunity to promote activities in this thriving community.
“As longtime advocates of the revitalization of the town of Spindale, the people of Spindale United Methodist Church are exceedingly excited about the vast possibilities a new skatepark brings to the area. As is gleaned from the early church in antiquity, having a sense of community (Greek “Koinonia”) is woven into the very fabric of who we are as God’s people. Thus, in donating our front property to the town of Spindale to be used as a safe connecting point for people of all ages, Spindale UMC is humbled by the opportunity to take faithful steps in expanding the boundaries of God’s purest space (Koinonia) within our beloved community.”Eric Mashburn, Pastor at Spindale United Methodist Church
“The town is grateful and appreciative of the generosity of Spindale United Methodist Church. This gift will benefit the town and its citizens and will take advantage of the proximity of the property to the “Rails to Trails”, said the Mayor of Spindale, Mickey Bland.
Alex Gotherman with Boone-based planning and design firm, Destination by Design (DbD), presented plans for the Spindale Skatepark & Pump Track to area leaders at a January 24th Board of Commissioners meeting. The American Ramp Company, a national leader in skateparks, will be responsible for the final design and construction of the skatepark and pump track. In addition to these recreation facilities, current plans include new restrooms near the TBRT, a shelter with picnic tables, and custom bike racks and benches.
The Spindale Skatepark & Pump Track initiative was initially introduces as part of the Thermal Belt Rail Trail Enhancement Master Plan, which was led by Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority, Rutherford County, and municipal leaders from Rutherfordton, Spindale, and Forest City.
The Town of Spindale has secured approximately $820,000 for this project thus far and will continue to pursue additional grant opportunities throughout 2022 while engineering documents are being prepared. A groundbreaking for the project is expected in spring 2023.