AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - A new skatepark in the Auburn-Opelika area could be a safe haven for skaters.

After a skater was hit on campus yesterday, the need for a park has become even more apparent.

The cities are working together to split the cost of a new skatepark. Each city has $200,000 allocated in proposed budgets to create the park. Once the budgets are approved, the cities would begin the project this fall.

The Parks and Recreation Directors of both cities have consulted with several large companies to try to design and build the park. Skaters will have the chance to contribute to the design of the park at public input meetings.

Auburn had a skatepark for years, but it wasn't used by skaters because it wasn't adequate for them.

Skateparks have been rising in popularity in recent years and cities are trying to keep up. After the 1-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta in March, a secret, unauthorized skatepark was discovered close to the collapse. The park was cleaned up by city officials as the bridge was being rebuilt.

Auburn and Opelika see the joint park as a way to build a nicer park for the communities, instead of having smaller, cheaper parks in both cities.

A location for the park has not been finalized, but the cities want a central location easily accessible to both communities.