Thank You Citizen Jim!
As-Salamu Alaykum, Muhammad. I find it interesting that anonymous Dutch Muslims such as yourself feel the need to speak out against myself and my fellow "yurt-dwelling freaks". I am proud to respond to your sarcastic comments. Delinquency: groundless accusation. Truancy: registered home-school students are not truants. Matted hair & open sores: unsure to whom or what you refer, perhaps dreadlocks and scraped knees? Runaway minor child: one, quickly returned. Dirt huts: built to higher standards than your own home. Permits & codes: not applicable to off-grid buildings on rural land. Taxes: unable to follow your argument.
Suggesting "there aren't enough skaters in the area to warrant the cost" is a common cop-out from politicians who are set in their ways and who tend to listen to parks and rec personnel who are likewise set in their ways.
The SAM was created by skatepark advocates, parks and rec professionals, city planners and professional skateboarders to provide a rational and scientific approach to skatepark planning.
I would agree that a 200,000 sq-ft facility is overkill for Ft. O. Maybe that's a misprint and should be 20,000 sq-ft? Probably still overkill for the area.
Ft O has a 2008 population of 9,663. Using the SAM, here's a suggestion:
9,663 x .046 = 444.5 skateboarders in Ft O
444.5 x .25 = 111 regular skateboarders in Ft O
111 x 1.5 = 166.5 sq-ft of skateboarding terrain needed for the city -- that's just a small miniramp.
I'd suggest the Ft O skaters pursue skatepark planning with the county as well as the city. Many skaters in the East Ridge-Ringgold-Chickamauga area will use the skatepark.
Ft O is a somewhat strange case, as the border city is quite small in population (though growing rapidly). Ft O facilities serve a much wider audience than just the city population. Ft O is essentially a small town surrounded by rapidly growing bedroom communities. I worked at the Ft O swimming pool in the late 80's, and I'd say that facility was far too large to serve a (then) population of 6000... it served the entire surrounding area and much of the county and was consistently packed during the summer.
Also, Ft O is a destination city and tourist gateway to the National Park. These extenuating factors would suggest Ft O could support a small skatepark, on the order of 2500 sq-ft. I've seen small tourist towns in Oregon, Idaho and Washington with proportionately large skateparks.