The Greater Huntsville area is growing quickly as more and more people come to recognize all of the great things happening in our community. With this growth comes opportunity. This opportunity creating a chance for one local donor to remake history.
The Community Foundation mobilizes generosity to improve quality of life in the eight quality of life sectors which includes recreation.
The idea for a new skatepark began with local businessman, Paul Gierow, who contributed $1 million to the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville to kickstart the project. Gierow was well-known as one of the best skateboarders in Alabama during the early 1980s and could often be found at the original Get-A-Way, which revolutionized skatepark design when it opened on Leeman Ferry Road in 1979. Gierow’s dream to create another cutting-edge skatepark for the next generation of skaters became a reality as a public-private partnership was sparked following his seed donation.
“I’m pleased that the community and City came together to build a world-class skatepark that everyone can enjoy,” said Gierow.
“Get-A-Way Skatepark was conceived, created, and financially made possible by passionate people who believed in and worked to bring this innovation to the City and to the next generation. Through this public-private partnerships, our young people have a world-class recreation space.”
“This public/private partnership between the City of Huntsville and the Community Foundation and its donors can serve as a model for how generosity can help shape the future of our community,” Community Foundation CEO Melissa Thompson added.
The initiative even received the attention and a $10,000 grant from The Skatepark Project, a national advocacy group founded by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. Hawk shares, “It’s exciting to see some of the original elements in the new plans, so we can share how it felt riding those revolutionary parks as young adults with a new generation. We hope to see more cities following the lead that Huntsville is setting.”
The new and improved Get-A-Way Skatepark opened at John Hunt Park on September 13, 2023.
Described as “the perfect mix of innovation and nostalgia,” John Hunt Park’s newest recreational facility is a tribute to the city’s original Get-A-Way Skate Park that opened in 1979. The new facility, designed by industry leader Team Pain, is a 52,000-square-foot complex that will appeal to both bowl and street skaters, including three bowl areas, two snake runs, a three-quarter pipe and street plaza.
The result pays tribute to the original design while delivering modern features that are exciting to both street and Olympic-style skateboarders. Some of those features include a clover bowl, a snake run with depths ranging from three to 10 feet, a ¾ pipe, and a large street plaza.
Get-A-Way Skatepark is quickly becoming a top skateboarding destination in the U.S., with visitors traveling from across the country to experience its unique design and custom features.