By Andrea Bartlow
WARRENSBURG, Mo. — The skate park, whose design and development have been in the works since 2000, is finally ready for all the skaters in town and its grand opening was Saturday.
The skate park is north of Nassif Pool in Grover Memorial Park on Mill Street.
Marcy Bryant, marketing supervisor for WPR, said the weekend’s grand opening was the culmination of years of work and something everyone involved should be proud of.
“I came on board in December 2006 and the staff had already put a lot of work into this project. This is one of those moments we really want to celebrate,” Bryant said. “It’s our time to say, ‘look at what we did!’”
The eight years the project required, beginning with Colleen Hurd’s driving initiative, to the completion of a top-notch skate park, are characterized by a steady cooperation among WPR, skaters and the community.
In 2003, the skate park committee was formed and the site for the park was chosen. Four years later, in conjunction with Site Design Group, a company that specializes in worldwide skate park design, the committee held “Design Day” at the Warrensburg Middle School Feb. 24.
The event gave skaters and members of the community the chance to give input and ideas on how to design the park, which Site Design Group used to develop three concept designs. These were later available at a public hearing and a vote was cast by the public to choose their favorite concept.
Featuring ramps, rails, stairs, and slopes, the skate board park offers almost everything a young skateboarder would want. (Photo by Dustin Freund)
Bryant said incorporating the community and skaters into the design and construction of the park were priorities for WPR because they wanted the public to care for the park.
“We’ve really involved the skaters and the community in the development of the skate park so they feel like they have ownership of the park,” Bryant said. “Ultimately, they are the ones who will utilize it, so we wanted to give them something that met what they wanted.”
The WPR budget allowed a total of $270,000 to be used for the skate park and two grants of $10,000 and $50,000 were obtained from the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Recreation superintendent Kim Nicas said WPR is nearing the end of the allotted budget and there are still items the park needs to be fully outfitted. She said the fundraising committee is seeking donations for amenities such as drinking fountains, benches, bleachers and an emergency phone, among others.
“We plan to seek donations from local businesses, organizations, clubs and any individuals who wish to help out,” Nicas said, adding that donors will be recognized with a plaque.
As with all the city parks, the skate park will be maintained by the WPR crew, and because it will not be under supervision, everyone will be skating at their own risk. Safety equipment such as helmets, and elbow and knee pads is not required to skate, but strongly encouraged.
In regards to the security measures of the park, Nicas said surveillance cameras will be installed, but they have not arrived yet. She said the park will not be fenced or locked at any time, but as with all other city parks, it is closed after 11 p.m.
“We don’t plan to fence it, we want it to be open to everyone,” Nicas said. “Besides, it even looks better without any fencing around it.”