Lighting installation begins at Walker Park skate park

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Grinders Skate Park will soon be ready for nighttime use.

A crew is currently working to install lights at the skate park, located at the northwest corner of Walker Park.

The city in January hired Engineering Elements PLLC, of Fayetteville to design a lighting system for the skate park. Shortly after that, the City Council approved an electrical contract for the installation of the new system. The total budget for the project is $98,000.

Once installed, users can turn on the new lights by pushing a button, according to design documents. The system is pre-programmed to automatically turn off after two hours, but will blink three times when there are five minutes remaining on the timer.

Lighting at skate parks must be designed and placed in a way that limits shadows that can lead to crashes and injuries. The new system at Walker Park will include a series of lights mounted atop six 40-foot-tall poles with three- and four-bulb setups designed to provide coverage of the entire skatepark after dark.

Park users have for years been asking city leaders to add lights to the skate park, including Connor Williamson, who in 2017 gathered over 500 signatures of area residents who’d like to be able to use the park after dark.

At the time, Williamson said the park gets overcrowded at certain times of the day, which limits use for some riders. He said winter hours are cut short in the afternoons due to limited daylight, and the summer heat tends to leave the park empty during the hottest times of the day.

Ted Jack, the city’s park planning superintendent, said the lights should be a nice improvement to the park.

“This is really a neat facility,” said Jack. “It’s hard to go by there and not see someone at the skate park. There are usually a lot of teens who are out there, so this really fills a niche in the city and the lights will stretch the usability of it.”