Archive for Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Skating enthusiasts review drawings for local park

August 29, 2001

The proposed skate park in Tonganoxie has gone from discussion to a diagram.

During a public meeting last Wednesday, park proponents Luke Stevens and Kyle Wedd discussed layout of the skate park with consultant David Hamby and Christopher Clark, city administrator, and Linda Zacher, city planner. Mark Zerrer, director of Tonganoxie Parks and Recreation, was also present.

Hamby, of BG Consultants in Lawrence, worked with Stevens and Wedd to plan a two-dimensional plan of the park.

Hamby will draw up the two-dimensional plan for the next meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. next Wednesday at the City Council Chambers, 321 Delaware.

The skate park is expected to be built near Second and Pleasant streets, east of the Tonganoxie Swimming Pool near VFW Park.

Most ideas from Hamby and those from Stevens and Wedd were similar. The highest point in the park was tentatively set at five feet as a safety precaution. A chain link fence, roughly 10 feet tall, will also be built around some of the park for safety reasons.

Stevens and Wedd had proposed jumps that were a half-foot higher than the five-foot plateau.

Stevens thought the meeting went well, but said he didn't think the higher jump distance made much difference.

Along with presenting diagrams of the park, Stevens is working on another important aspect of the park finances.

Stevens has opened a skate park account at First State Bank. Contributors can donate money by notifying any teller.

The donated money is needed for what could be an expensive project.

Lawrence's skate park in Centennial Park had about a $120,000 price tag.

"I just wanted to try to get some money for it," Stevens said. "We'll start with this and see how it goes."

The city will also have money for the project. Clark said the expected money from the city for 2002 has been cut to $10,000 from the original $25,000 because of the budget cycle.

The city plans to contribute $20,000 in 2003 and 2004.

But city council members have not voted on any contributions to the park other than funds to create the master plan.

"We'll have to find ways to be creative," Clark said, noting that the city couldn't spend anywhere near what Lawrence's park cost.

Zerrer said the recreation commission was in a budget crunch as well.

Discussion with the recreation board would need to occur before any funding came from the commission.

Other discussion about the park included experienced skaters conducting clinics for beginning skaters.

After next Wednesday's meeting, a three-dimensional plan will be made.

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