ATLANTIC BEACH, CARTERET COUNTY -

In less than a year, government officials in Atlantic Beach will be breaking ground on the biggest skate park in Eastern Carolina. They hope the park, spanning 10,000 to 11,000 square feet, will rival the ones in Raleigh and Charlotte.

Atlantic Beach Mayor Trace Cooper said the park will be good for the locals and great for tourism. The park will give teens a place to skate off the streets, and will be a major draw for families choosing which beach town to visit.

Park development has already started. It's just across the Bojangles' on Highway 58, right near the center of town.

“The skate park is part of a bigger parks effort that will have Putt-Putt. We are building a splash-pad water park right now. So we want to have something for kids of all ages to do, not just because it is the right thing but because it helps bring people to town. And if they are here, they are staying at motels and eating at restaurants,” said Cooper.

The project is estimated to cost about $300,000. Local government will be paying the bill with the help of local businesses and a grassroots fundraising effort that's set to start next month.

To design the park, Cooper has put together a committee that includes older and professional skateboarders along with local teens.

The land the park will be built on includes a few sand dunes. The skate park is planned to be built up into the dune, to give it a unique appeal.