New skate park has international architectural origins

Jameason Flint ollies over the coping between two ramps at the new Columbus skatepark in Columbus, Ind., Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. The new skatepark was designed by Janne Saario, a Finnish landscape architect and former professional skateboarder. The park was built by Hunger Skateparks in Bloomington. Swartzentruber's twin brother Chris works for Hunger Skateparks. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

In a city where schools, churches, libraries and fire stations are designed by world-renowned architects, it only makes sense that Columbus’ skate park at Indiana Avenue and Marr Road is of an international design pedigree.

The Jolie Crider Memorial Skate Park was built in Clifty Park in 1999, the result of a dream that a group of skaters had to build a skate park in the city. The park is named in memory of Columbus North High School freshman Jolie Crider, who died at age 14 from bacterial meningitis on May 7, 1994.

The skate park has since been a city attraction for thousands of local skaters who find thrills in shredding rails and flipping in the air.

But with 20 years of use comes considerable damage and wear and tear.

Chip Orben, Columbus Parks Foundation president, said the skate park had been identified as a project that needed to done. The material in the former skate park had become so worn out that maintaining it was becoming an even greater issue.

When faced with the choice between renovation and rebuild, the answer was clear to the city. In comes the Jolie Crider Memorial Skate Park 2.0.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.