A place of their own

Skateboarders look to new facility to enjoy their passions

Innovative minds — (From left) Miles Dyson, Seth Pryor and Matt Simpson were among the first to approach administration about opening a skate park.

If you build it, they will come.

Snowflex, frisbee golf, paintball fields, tennis courts, a new football stadium and now Liberty University is adding skate park to their long list of student-oriented amenities.

“This is a big deal for skaters. We can’t skate (on campus) without breaking the rules,” Liberty student Miles Dyson said.

Skating on campus has become an issue, Dyson said. Students have nowhere free and legal to skate or BMX.

A group of students including Dyson, Matt Simpson and Seth Pryor have been involved in the planning and facilitating of the skate park since its beginning stages.

“When we approached the Chancellor, we didn’t have any intent of pitching the idea of a skate park to him, it sort of just happened,” Dyson said. “At first we thought they (the administration) were kidding about it.”

The nearest skate park to Liberty is currently located in downtown Lynchburg, about 15 minutes off campus and costs students $5.

The location of the new facility will be announced soon, but the students are already beginning to stir excitement surrounding the new park.

“The great thing about this park is that it will not only be free to students, but because it is indoors, it allows us to skate whenever we want — rain or shine,” Dyson said.

Joel Olenik, chief carpenter for the project, said that although the students designed the original plans, the final blueprints are a collaboration of his design and theirs.

“We both had a lot of ideas about what the final product should look like. In the end it is a compromise between the two, and I think everyone will be pleased,” Olenik said.

With the help of Liberty’s cabinet shop led by Dave Morgan, Olenik hopes the first of three stages will be completed within the next two weeks.

The first stage of construction includes two half pipes which will be connected by a spine.

The future stages include a foam pit as well as a “street” section.

“You can do things at a skate park that you can’t do anywhere else. It gives you freedom to push the limits (without pushing the law),”Pryor said.

Having a background in skating and constructing skate parks, Olenik said he was thrilled when he was approached about the project.

“I worked on a skate park for Hyland Heights, and it was a blast. Being invested in something you love makes the experience great,” Olenik said. “It is awesome to know what your doing will be enjoyed.”

Liberty offered to fund the project’s construction, ensure the facility is prepared for the traffic it will be receiving and also to staff the facility once it is completed.

“Our job is to create excitement and to furnish the place. We have to get the students to come, then we will be able to move forward and get more assistance with making the place look perfect,” Pryor said.

Students will be able to sit on an upper deck and enjoy watching fellows classmates skate and BMX, or try it themselves, said Dyson.

“For now all we can do is wait and see who shows up. Hopefully, we will get a lot of different varieties of riders and viewers,” Simpson said.

For more information about the future skate park, contact Student Activities.


  • Will this be free to all students or just LU students? It also says that it will be inside… Will this be on North campus or is this going in a new building somewhere?

  • They haven’t released the location as far as I’m aware, but if it’s in North, it will probably require a student ID for free access. I can’t give you any definite answers at the moment, but they’ll announce everything when it moves closer to completion.

  • I sent an email to Student Activities with questions and they told me there was a misprint in this article. The skate park will be managed by LaHaye Student Union not Student Activities.

  • Were they able to answer any of your questions, or did they completely redirect you? The article doesn’t mention who will be managing it, but if the contact info is wrong, I’ll edit the post.

  • On the addition to that, im working on a Skate Team-Ministry to go along with the skatepark

  • This is so sweet dude I love it. As for the ministry team please keep pushing for that i asked my brother if there was one and he said they were pushing for it. I’m excited to see where it will go. If S.O.A.R. and a skate team get on ministry thats two extreme things on ministry and thats awesome. thanks for the update on the park.

  • Well S.O.A.R. is already on ministry but if the skate team gets on that would be even sweeter

  • Liberty University Skateboarding Team is getting approved by SGA… is the park done yet…

  • hey bro ily go do ur thing at the skate park

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