Skatepark Improvement Fund

A Portsmouth educator and a local physician have joined forces to establish a new Skatepark Improvement Fund for the benefit of improvements to the Portsmouth Skatepark located at 4th and Jefferson Streets, the Scioto Foundation has announced.

Portsmouth High School English teacher Noah Fannin and KDMC Emergency Room doctor Lucas Lemons envision three phases of improvements that would be accomplished between 2024 and 2026, supported by donations to the new fund.

Phase 1 would include the installation of canopies for the picnic tables, providing shade and protection from sun and rain. Phase 2 would add a timed light for the bowl area of the skatepark. Phase 3 would involve the creation of a concrete extension from the entrance area to the west end by the trees.

“The concrete portions will take years to gather the funds,” Fannin explained. “but the shade and light could hopefully happen this year.”

“We want to create something that is an ever-growing project, said Fannin. “We don’t want it to sit and not grow.”

“There is a lot of focus on the skatepark at Portsmouth High School,” Fannin said. “We have had numerous donations of skateboards and other equipment. It is great that there is a lot of interest.”

Even when Fannin was a youth, he had ideas about a community skate park but nothing developed. “It has taken a lot of time, but you are never too old to enjoy it,” he said.

Fannin, who is 41 years old, skates with several others who are 40 or older.

“I can skate with my age group or with 10-year-olds,” he commented. “It is so appealing because all ages can use the park. There is no age barrier, and anyone can enjoy it. We want the park to expand so more people will be able to use it.”

The original plan was to develop the west end of the park and to expand to use the land they have, Fannin explained. “No one else provided funds but so many are willing to help,” he said. “Now it is time to make all ideas welcome. City officials Tracy Shearer and Sam Sunderland have been very open to new ideas.”

Signage is needed on Market Street and at the park to provide an entryway that is aesthetically pleasing, Fannin commented. He also anticipates some artwork such as murals later.

“We are ready to get something going and we hope that others will join the effort,” Fannin concluded as he encouraged contributions to the fund.

Donations to the Skatepark Improvement Fund can be made on the Scioto Foundation website,, by sending checks to Fannin or Lemons, by dropping them off at the Scioto Foundation office, 301 Chillicothe Street or by sending them to the Scioto Foundation at P.O. Box 911, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.

Further information about the fund may be obtained by contacting Fannin at (740) 357-2409 or Patty Tennant, Program Officer – Donor Services, at (740) 354-4612. Additional information about other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Tennant or SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.

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