A vision becomes reality

Skate Depot opens in Cullman

Tennessee native and Santa Cruz sponsored skater Jake Wooten rode Skate Depot to spectators’ delight on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The chilly breeze and brisk temperature did not thwart the droves of skaters of all ages who took to Skate Depot on Saturday, Nov. 12, to celebrate the park’s grand opening. With community leaders mingling with spectators, the design team from Spohn Ranch Skateparks testing out their new construction, Tennessee native professional skateboarder Jake Wooten wowing the crowd and local skaters enjoying the new park, the day was a mighty success for Cullman and its residents. 

(Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

“We’ve worked hard to generate excitement around the grand opening for our skater community as they now have a place to hone their skills,” said Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism (CPRST) Executive Director Nathan Anderson. “We couldn’t be more excited to see this park be made available to the community.”  

As DJ Mykael V, a DJ from Atlanta who is well known for his faith and testimony, took charge of the music, Wooten took time to spend with his fans and admirers. He shared his love of skating and the sport’s power in his life. 

“I lost both my parents to addiction when I was younger,” said 22-year-old Wooten. “Thankfully, I had family to raise me, but I needed something to deal with it all. Skating was it. Skating gave me a way to handle all the stuff that was going on around me. Really, it saved me.” 

As a result, Wooten has a distinct appreciation for areas around the country that support skateboarding and recognize its positive impact on youth. 

“I am a huge fan of cities that value their community of skaters and what the activity can do to inspire young people,” Wooten said. “It’s truly an honor to be a part of this event.” 

Using the input of skaters for whom the park was intended, the planning team from Spohn Ranch Skateparks designed Skate Depot specific to the needs and wants of the local skate community. With great intention, the park was built with specific areas for various levels of expertise and has features for both street and ramp skaters. 

More than $120,000 in private donations was used for landscaping, public restrooms and benches in the park. Rob Whitesell and his family donated $50,000 contingent on a 100% match. The match was met and exceeded with Cullman Rotary Club pitching in $40,000 and the CPRST Foundation donating $30,000.  

“We had the goal of making the park usable and attractive to both spectators and skaters,” Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs said. “Thanks to several community partners, we were able to accomplish this goal.” 

Attendees registered for free board giveaways at Skate Depot’s grand opening Saturday, Nov. 12. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune) 

Skate Depot is part of the larger, envisioned municipal park space which will, in time, connect the Warehouse District to Cullman Middle School. The space will include Festhalle, Depot Park and Skate Depot and will increase the layout of annual community events such as the Strawberry Festival and Oktoberfest. 

Skate Depot is open from sunrise to 10 p.m. every day and is located at 601 Second Ave. NE, between the Cullman Police Department and Depot Park.  

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