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Skatepark ready to break ground on 2nd phase

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ST. IGNATIUS — Skaters could be riding on the second phase of the Skate Ignatius Skatepark as early as July 4, project leader Kristie Nerby said.

But $13,500 in donations is still needed to cover the park addition’s $90,000 price tag. Kristie recently received a nice surprise from Dreamland Skateparks, the company contracted to design and build the park, and the offer was too good to refuse.

“They said, ‘We have a spot in June, and if you’ll take that spot, we’ll knock $5,000 off your bid,’” Kristie explained.

So Kristie and her husband Bruce decided to cover the remaining $13,500 out of their own pocket, save the project $5,000 and start construction in mid-June. 

“We’re willing to do that if we have to,” Kristie said. “Realistically, I don’t have $13,500 to just give the skatepark.”

After six years of planning and fundraising, Kristie’s hoping the community will once again pitch in and help the Skate Ignatius project come to completion. 

“We’re in that position where we just have to throw our hands up and get it done,” she said.

Once Dreamland Skateparks breaks ground, construction should be finished in a matter of a few weeks. The first phase, a 7,000-square-foot concrete area at St. Ignatius’ Taelman Park, took four weeks to build and was finished under budget and ahead of schedule, Kristie said.

“We’re hoping two to three weeks (for phase two),” she said. “They may possibly be skating on it by Fourth of July.”

Phase two of the park also will be 7,000 square feet and includes a combination of street and bowl-skating elements that are designed to allow both beginners and more experienced skaters to enjoy the park. In February, the St. Ignatius Town Council approved a revised plan for phase two, which was significantly scaled down from the original design — a plan that called for 10,000 square feet and was priced at $263,500.

Since the completion of the skatepark’s first phase in 2007, the town council had heard public concerns over the necessity of doubling the park’s size. Adequate parking space, vandalism, park maintenance and skatepark users not cleaning up after themselves were all matters of concern listed in various town council meeting minutes from last year, city clerk Lee Ann Gottfried said. Those concerns, coupled with the difficulty of fundraising in a recession, led to the parks board and Kristie revamping the plan for the second phase.

Now the project’s end is in sight, and Kristie is eager to see the park finished so young skaters can enjoy the new addition while they’re out of school for summer. 

“I’m hoping that there’ll be an event sometime this summer,” she said. 

For more information or to donate to Skate Ignatius, visit www.skateignatius.com or contact Kristie Nerby at 745-4888.

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