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Plans for Hart Park skatepark leap forward in Wauwatosa

Mike and Judy Doyle review site plans for a Hart Park skatepark in this 2009 photo. At that time the idea was in its infancy.

Mike and Judy Doyle review site plans for a Hart Park skatepark in this 2009 photo. At that time the idea was in its infancy. Photo By C.T. Kruger

April 9, 2014

The skatepark proposed for Hart Park in Wauwatosa is closer than ever to becoming a reality, having reached a private fundraising goal of $160,000.

The Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding between the city, Tosa Skateboarders United, and Mike and Judy Doyle, specifying the parameters by which the city would construct and maintain the skatepark.

District 1 Alderman Peter Donegan described the public-private partnership to fund the project as good public policy made easier. Last June, the Doyles offered an $80,000 grant to fund Tosa Skatepark, proposed in memory of their son, Jack Doyle, seeking matching funds from both the city and Tosa Skateboarders United for a total amount of $240,000 — a level that has now been attained.

"I really want to say to Judy and Mike that I am just truly inspired by you, and I think our whole city should be truly inspired by you for what you have done here," Donegan said.

"It is one thing to survive tragedy, it is another thing to overcome tragedy. It is a whole other thing to do what you have done, which is to redeem tragedy," he added. "Jack will be giving all sorts of kids in Wauwatosa a great place to play."

Jack Doyle, a skateboarder and in-line skater who was actively involved in Tosa Skateboarders United, died of strangulation in 2006 at the age of 13, as a result of participating in a choking game intended to create a momentary high.

The Doyles and Tosa Skateboarders United have been working to raise funds for the project for a number of years. As a result of their efforts, construction on the approximately 7,000- to 8,000-square-foot skatepark at 71st and Chestnut streets is now expected to begin in early 2015.

District 5 Alderman Joel Tilleson said he was thrilled the Doyles had fulfilled their fundraising goal.

"I didn't doubt you'd hit this goal," Tilleson said. "I'm surprised you hit it as quickly as you did."

Public Works Director William Porter said the request for proposals for project design services has been put out and a proposal meeting is scheduled to be held this week. Proposals will be reviewed by the Parks and Forestry Board, Porter said, with a recommendation to be brought back to the Common Council.

The skatepark is designed to accommodate skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX bikers, and is expected to have a useful life of at least 40 years, according to the memorandum of understanding. The agreement addresses how the process of design, construction and ongoing maintenance will take place among the three parties involved. It will be referred to the Common Council for consideration next week.

NEXT STEP

WHAT: Common Council consideration of memorandum of understanding for proposed Tosa Skatepark

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15

WHERE: City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.

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