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Residents invited to help design Wauwatosa skatepark

July 29, 2014

They've come up with more than $250,000, found a location in Hart Park and hired a designer. Now grassroots proponents of a Tosa skatepark are asking for community input on a design.

The first of two open meetings with designer Action Sport Design will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Lower Civic Room at City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave. The Hart Park skatepark is expected to open next summer near 70th and Chestnut streets.

"I'm so excited that by this time next year, there will be evidence that there's a skatepark going in," said Judy Doyle, a Tosa resident who has funded about a third of the project with her husband Mike. "Everything has been right on schedule and it's been great to see all the enthusiasm."

Judy and Mike became involved in the project 10 years ago to support their son Jack and other kids who wanted somewhere to skate without being stopped by police. After Jack passed away, the Doyles donated his college fund to the cause.

The city of Wauwatosa has also contributed $80,000 to the effort, with Tosa Skateboarders United giving another $80,000. In June, the city approved a $38,603 contract with Action Sport Design, which recently became part of the international firm Stantec.

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

At the Aug. 7 meeting, designer Kanten Russel, a former professional skateboarder, will unveil and seek feedback on conceptual plans for the park, which is meant to serve skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX bikers at all levels. He will display several alternative concepts at different price points to gauge interest in different potential features.

Although the group has already exceeded its original budget goal of $240,000, it is still trying to raise more money for additional options at the park. Doyle said they might have a second phase of construction to add elements they don't currently have funds for.

The group recently started a GoFundMe page to add a bowl to the park, with a total goal of $75,000. They raised $720 in the first four days.

"We're going to let the interest of the community and fundraising determine the issue of whether or not there's a bowl," Doyle said. "If there's a strong push, the designer will try to incorporate that in the proposal."

Those who would like regular updates on the project can sign up on the city website through "Notify Me" at wauwatosa.net/list.aspx.

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