Pierre-area skateboarders are a little closer to a new skate park after the City Commission unanimously approved a $79,349 contract on June 15 to R&W Construction for a 5,000-square-foot concrete pad to the immediate east of Capitol Creek in Griffin Park.
The awarding of the contract follows last month’s approval of a $101,035.90 for skating equipment by the commission. The current Griffin Park skate park is located on ground set aside as part of the city’s new outdoor pool, which necessitated a move.
Last month, city parks and rec. Director Tom Farnsworth said the Missouri-based American Ramp Company can provide and install the new equipment by September provided concrete work is done in time.
“There’s grind ledges, there’s grind rails, something that they call a hubba ledge – I’m not fully aware – and jump boxes, so some of the amenities we had before, but I think the ramps are expanded in the width and have a little more safety factor, I know the guardrails are extended for safety and obviously with the better concrete, the youth and users are going to have a much better ride,” he said.
Farnsworth told the Capital Journal that area skaters were instrumental in bringing the project together, helping to “fine-tune” his proposal.
“We had a series of discussions with members or users of the skate park who came into our park and rec. board meetings,” Farnsworth said. “They were really helpful. Our staff and our board members aren’t experts in every recreational amenity that we offer, but these kids, I call (them) young adults, they were really good. They made us aware that if the kids lose this amenity, they’ll grow up, grow older, may migrate away from it and they lose the opportunity, and we agreed with that.”
Sam Weisgram and his 15-year-old son, Blake, got involved when they heard months back that the skate park was in the path of the new city pool.
“I give a lot of credit to the city for working with us or listening to the community, because it just wasn’t me and Blake, it was several of our family, friends, and other people that use the skate park that also expressed concerns to the city and some thoughts and ideas,” Sam said. “But the city really did a nice job of responding to us and engaging with us, and we appreciated that greatly.”
The concrete pad is expected to be complete by late July, according to a city press release. When the city begins dirt work for the pool and removes the concrete at the existing skate park, Farnsworth said the surplus equipment at the site will be removed and sold.
Anyone interested in purchasing pieces of surplus equipment should contact the City of Pierre’s finance office.
This coming Tuesday, the Pierre City Commission will vote on a budget supplement from the city’s General Fund which would provide $193,000 for the skate park project. The supplement received a first reading at the commission’s June 15 meeting and totals $224,000, with the other $31,000 slated for trees at Pierre Community Dog Park and a sign project at the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area.
“I think it’s simply going to last the community and the kids. And it’s not just kids, there’s all ages that do skate, but it’s going to last them for many, many years,” Farnsworth said.