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Design process begins for Wauwatosa skate park

Firm will seek community input

June 3, 2014

Plans for a skate park at Hart Park moved one step closer to fruition Tuesday, June 3, when the Wauwatosa Common Council approved a $38,603 contract with Action Sport Design to draw up plans this year.

Construction could begin next spring.

The funds are just a portion of the $80,000 the city has committed for the project. Another $80,000 is coming from Tosa Skateboarders United, with the final third of the funding coming from local residents Judy and Mike Doyle.

Project Manager David Jaeckels said the designers will be working closely with local skateboarders and bikers in a series of workshops beginning in the next month.

"They will have ownership in the design, so they'll really feel like it's their park," Jaeckels said.

Action Sport Design, which recently became part of the international firm Stantec, was one of six designers that bid on the project. Action wasn't the lowest bidder, but Jaeckels said he thought it would be the most capable based on its experience and resources.

Action has designed more than a dozen parks throughout the country, including one in Lake Geneva, and is also designing a facility in Madison.

10 years in the making

When the common council approved the designer this week, Mike and Judy Doyle were in the audience.

"It's really exciting," Mike said. "Now the real fun begins."

The two became involved in the project 10 years ago, when their son Jack was among many neighborhood kids frequently being stopped by police for skating in areas where it was prohibited. The kids wanted to raise money for a park, and were able to get the Wauwatosa Youth Commission and Recreation Department involved.

More recently, the Doyles' son passed away, but the effort continued. The Doyles donated Jack's college fund to the cause.

"The group kept going, and now those kids are now in their 20s, but the fundraising has gone on," said Judy, who is president of TSU. "It's been an incredible community effort. We had all hoped that maybe there would be a big donor, and in reality it's been lots of smaller donors that have really stepped forward and given with their hearts."

Still raising money

Although TSU has already raised its $80,000 contribution, and even surpassed it by about $30,000, Judy said the group is still hoping to raise more money for the park.

"More money means a better park," Judy said. "It means we can expand it to include more elements."

Doyle said the group is hoping to raise another $30,000 to bring up the park's total budget from $240,000 to $300,000. They hope their Brick Campaign will help them get there.

For a gift of at least $100, donors can get their names inscribed on bricks that will be part of the skate park. Doyle said the money from the brick campaign will likely go toward getting a shade structure at the park.

To get involved or donate to the project, visit tosaskate.org.

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