Skate park just days from becoming a reality

A dream has become a concrete reality.
With components starting to arrive here Wednesday, final work on the Kiwanis skate park is underway—culminating about four years of hard work and planning by a local committee of parents and youth.
The $250,000, 9,600 sq. ft. park should be ready for skateboarders to use within the next five days, committee chairman Rob Tovey said during a meeting Wednesday evening.
Under the experienced eye of skate park designer Andrew Kondrat of Barkman Concrete, Ken Perry and his L&K Construction crew will be inserting the components over the next few days, then spend another two days to grout seams and weld certain metal pieces.
Committee members were thrilled to the new skate park take shape before their eyes Wednesday.
“It’s very exciting to see. You can see by the 30 or so kids that are out there right now, they think so, too,” said Rod McLeod. “It’s cold and dark, but they’re all over the place.”
“It’s awesome to see the kids having somewhere to go and play and skateboard instead of in the parking lots,” agreed Keith Knapp.
“It’s another asset for the town,” echoed Duane Cridland. “If outsiders are thinking of coming to town, it’s just another great thing for their children to be able to do, and a great place to do it.
“We encourage everybody to drive by the site over the next few days and see for themselves [how impressive it is],” added Cridland, noting the quality of the building materials was top-notch.
“To think it started out with hotdog sales,” mused Patsy Roy as she took a closer look at the components on site before Wednesday night’s meeting. “This is beautiful.
“We’ve had many hardships,” she added. “You go right down to the ground, then you’re back up ’cause something good happens, then back you’re down.
“This was the best day ever, to see this happen. This is what we wanted,” Roy enthused.
“It’s a vision that began four years ago,” noted Tovey. “Like Patsy said, it feels good to be with it this long and finally see it really happening.
“It’s coming together as of today [Wednesday]. It’s been a long four years.”
While the new park should be bustling with skateboarders by this time next week, the work isn’t over for the committee, which still has to raise about $130,000 by the spring.
One initiative organizers are hoping will bring in significant dollars is a “skate-a-thon” planned for Saturday, Oct. 15 from 1-4 p.m. at the skate park. Local skateboarders will be collecting pledges over the next couple of weeks.
Pledge forms will be available at local schools, and there will be prizes for the top three pledge-getters.
M&M Meat Shops will be on hand selling food to help raise money for the skate park.
Committee members also will continue to push the “Brick the Park” campaign to local individuals and businesses.
While numerous businesses have purchased blocks of bricks, the committee admitted getting the public’s support right now is crucial to its ultimate success.
It hopes to see even more people buy those bricks now that the skate park is being built before their eyes.
Bricks cost $100 each, and will be installed at the skate park with an individual, family, or company name on it.
Anyone wanting to make a donation can call Tovey (274-6113), Roy (274-4244), or Chris McKinnon (274-6180).