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NEW CONCORD -- The sun shined Saturday on SkateSpot as professional skateboarder Doug Brown lent a special cachet to the grand opening of the village's skating park.
Because of his roots, Brown felt a special connection to the celebration.
"Wooster is my hometown, so I'm an Ohio native," he said. "That's what makes this so special."
He waved at the dozen or so youths zipping up the concrete ramp.
"I was one of these boys," Brown said. "I'm 37 and I still am."
Mayor Greg Adams was scheduled to cut the ribbon for the grand opening.
Meanwhile, Councilman Robert Dickson and Kathy Normansell of the New Concord Area Arts and Recreation District skate committee were on hand to coordinate festivities.
"Kathy and Robert have put so much effort into this," said East Muskingum School Board President Ken Blood, who was on hand to observe the youths having fun.
The grand opening was the culmination of events that began in April 2007 when an East Muskingum Middle School youth approached Village Council to request that the village build a skate park.
Robert James said authorities were quick to tell youths where they could not ride their skateboards. But they never had a suggestion of where they could.
"Council told them to bring a petition that showed enough people were interested," Dickson said.
A petition was submitted, but the issue became one of finding a place in town that offered enough space.
That problem was solved when Dickson and some of the others on the NCAARD board realized that ideal spot would be adjacent to the New Concord Area Pool.
"We had seven acres," Dickson said. "There was plenty of room here."
A concrete pad that served as an abbreviated basketball court was converted and a larger basketball court was built at the rear of the property.
Fund-raisers and a NatureWorks grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources yielded the funds to make the dream a reality.