- Associated Press - Sunday, July 20, 2014

RUSTON, La. (AP) - A campus wide master plan is currently being developed that would include construction of a skate park on Louisiana Tech University’s campus.

The Ruston Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1wrrBre) the idea was first presented by the BMX/Skateboarding Club on campus to club member Joshua Dean.

Dean notes there is currently no place on campus - or in the city of Ruston - for people to safely skate.

“Every time I’m skating on campus, I get stopped by campus police or police in general and they say ‘No, you can’t skate. It’s too busy, you’re going to hurt someone or yourself,’” Dean said. “Some people like football, some people like baseball - they all have their facilities and we don’t have anything.

“If we’re all skating on campus or in a parking lot, there are always cars coming out that could hit us. If we had a designated place, we could have all the safety equipment and have everyone look out for each other.”

Initially, Dean said, they sought to put a skate park inside the campus’ empty natatorium. But Bobby Dowling, the university’s Director of Campus Recreation, says until the master plan is complete there’s no word on what that space will be used for.

“From a security and safety standpoint, I would like for the skate park to be located in close proximity to Lambright Sports and Wellness Center,” Dowling said. “It would require less staff to manage and keep safe if it is located here.”

Dowling said there is no state or university money for the proposed project and if it were to get accomplished, it would have to be completely funded by student fees.

“Our projected cost is about $500,000,” Dowling said. “It could be done, but the students would have to get wide support for the project from the student body.”

Dowling said this isn’t the first time that a group has tried to get a skate park on campus. He referenced a group that had failed to do so five years ago.

Dean said they club has to wait for the spring quarter Student Government Association elections before they can pitch their idea and seek funding.

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Information from: Ruston Daily Leader, http://www.rustonleader.com/

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