After years of planning, workers finally broke ground on a skate park in Belgrade Tuesday.
Though the Belgrade City Council originally gave the skate park the green light in 2011, neither enthusiasm nor funding has remained steady over the years. Though the project is still a few thousand dollars short, Belgrade Youth Forum volunteer Renae Mattimoe said she’s confident sufficient donations will come in before the project’s expected completion at the end of the month.
The new skater’s haven will sit along Main Street in Lewis & Clark Park. Mattimoe said organizers anticipated the need for an additional $20,000 to finish the park, but a major feature was pulled from the plans about two weeks ago.
There will no longer be a deep bowl for skaters to cruise through, but Mattimoe said the “street scape” style park will still have plenty of rails, curbs and other features. A set of stairs will be built on one side and a quarter ramp will sit along another so visitors can use it to pick up speed.
“It mimics what the kids are already riding around town,” Mattimoe said.
Eliminating the bowl saved about $4,000 in materials and a few weeks of work time, Mattimoe added. Though it made the park ineligible for a $10,000 grant it previously received, she said new grants and donations have made up for it.
The Belgrade Youth Forum will continue to look for donations and support over the next few weeks. If they get more than they need, Mattimoe said they will just add some more features to the park.
“These guys can work on the fly, so the more money we get, the more we can do,” she said.
Dreamland Skateparks, a company out of Lincoln City, Ore., is creating the park. They’ve designed skate parks of all sizes across the country.
“They build the Lamborghinis of skate parks, from what I hear,” Mattimoe said.
Though some of the funding came from grants, she said a wide variety of local businesses and individuals have stepped forward to offer both money and donated services and materials.
North Fork Building rented the construction equipment, while Kenyon Noble will donate cement and Knife River pledged dirt and rocks. Housing for the Dreamland workers was donated for the time it takes them to complete the project. Kids have even come forward to add their pocket money to the cause.
After several years of advocating for the park, Mattimoe said she’s “so excited” to finally see it come to fruition.
“Oh my gosh, it is just so cool,” she said. “I’m sure every kid that sees me in this town thinks I’m such a dork. I’ve been handing out fliers left and right.”
Belgrade Youth Forum President Tiffany Maierle estimated the entire project will cost around $75,000. It should be ready to shred at the end of August.