The favored conceptual design presented Aug. 7 for a new skate park in Hart Park features a bowl, half pipe, hand rail and grind ledges in a circular form around a green drainage area.
The design was one of three possibilities unveiled by former professional skateboarder Kanten Russell, working with Stantec/Action Sport Design to plan the project.
The grass-roots group pushing for the park has a budget of more than $250,000, including money from the city and local fundraising efforts. They hope it will open next summer near 70th and Chestnut streets.
At the meeting Aug. 7, Russell encouraged the skaters who attended to bring their own creativity to the design and pitch him ideas. The conceptual design included a layout for the park but didn't detail specific features.
"There's no preconceived ideas for this," Russell said. "It's your park, not mine."
Some suggested incorporating a W shape to represent Wauwatosa. City of Wauwatosa Project Manager Dave Jaeckels suggested a glow-in-the dark feature in the concrete to represent fireflies, which give Wauwatosa its name and appear throughout local businesses and events.
Russell supported the idea of including localized elements, as well as incorporating features that feel like regular city streets.
"The idea is to emulate some of the things you see in downtown Wauwatosa or Milwaukee so it feels authentic, like maybe you're about to get kicked out," he said.
The reality of getting kicked out in other public places is what made a group of skaters first come together around the idea of building a park.
For now, a skate club meets Wednesday afternoons in the parking lot of Longfellow Middle School, where they've set up homemade wooden ramps for their own mini park.
Kieran Bluhm, 13, said he has fun with the club but is looking forward to the new skating opportunities and the freedom a big concrete park will offer.
"It'll be awesome because I can just ride my skateboard down and have fun," Bluhm said.
He also hopes there will be planters to grind on. His sister Anande, 10, is hoping for inline-friendly skate features and some "not-so-steep ramps" where she can practice the jumps and spins she's been learning on her block.
Russell plans to present more detailed designs, reflecting the group's ideas, at a meeting scheduled tentatively for Aug. 28. Check tosaskate.org for a final date.
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