Tosa Skateboarders United has reached its fundraising goal of $80,000 and the design phase for a new skatepark in Hart Park is beginning, said Judy Doyle, who with her husband, Mike, is leading the effort.
The skate park, at an estimated cost of $240,000, will be financed by an $80,000 city contribution, $80,000 from the Doyle family, and the $80,000 raised by TSU.
For use by skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX bikers, the skate park will be built along Chestnut Street, between 70th and 72nd streets, just east of the football stadium in Hart Park.
Doyle said the Jazz for the Tosa Skatepark fundraising event held Oct. 25 "was a huge success," and made it possible for the project to move forward.
Revamping phase one
Planning for the first phase of the project didn't include a skateboard bowl, but "TSU will continue to fundraise in the hopes of adding the bowl onto the park in this first phase instead of waiting for phase two," Judy Doyle said.
TSU is selling personalized bricks to raise money. Doyle said the group hopes to sell 100 bricks at prices ranging from $100 for a 4-by-8-inch brick inscribed with words, to $400 for a custom logo on an 8-by-8-inch brick.
Doyle said it would take two to three months to hire a professional skate park designer, and then another four to six months for the designer to hold community meetings with local skateboarders to gather input about what the park should include. All this has to be done before bids for construction can be solicited.
She said the group was working with Public Works Director William Porter to develop a timeline. Groundbreaking is unlikely to occur before early 2015, she said.
The Common Council in June approved the city's share of the cost, with an additional $15,000 set aside to provide for five years' worth of projected maintenance costs. The city funding will come from the 2007 sale of land at the Public Works yard, near Walnut and 116th streets, where a housing development now stands.
Planning for a decade
A skate park is part of the city's revised master plan for Hart Park, adopted in January, 2007. But forums and planning for the facility began a decade ago, with the formation of the nonprofit Tosa Skateboarders United.
The Doyles offered their $80,000 Jack Doyle Memorial Challenge Grant in June, contingent upon matching grants from the city and TSU. Their grant is named after their son, Jack, a skateboarder and inline skater, who died in 2006 at the age of 13.
Original plans for the park envisioned a $650,000 park, but the daunting cost in the midst of the recession hindered fundraising, and phase one was scaled back.
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