Only money needed now

Published on Thu, Aug 29, 2002
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Only money needed now

It’s finally happening. After years of “there’s nothing to do in Blaine,” the skatepark so long discussed by city youth is within reach with nothing but money standing in the way.

The Blaine Extreme Sport Club (BESC) has selected Spectrum Design, out of B.C., to build the park on the 9,000 square foot property, behind the library, that city council agreed to lease to the club last October. “It’s been going really well,” said BESC liaison officer John Landis, “I haven’t heard any negative words.” Landis became interested in the skatepark when he saw a student’s project for a World Problems class, arguing the benefits of a skatepark in Blaine. He put a questionnaire out to the elementary, middle, and high schools, and “I got a huge response back,” he said.

The skatepark will be built to accommodate skateboarding, in-line skating, and BMX riding. BESC’s goal is to offer safety lessons and sport instruction in all three to provide a strong base for beginning athletes. The park will serve as a large concrete classroom, and will give youth an arena to legally practice their sports, which are banned from most public places due to safety concerns.

All that remains now is to find money for the park, which requires an initial investment of $50,000. Landis said BESC had just received a $5,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation to bring the club’s bank account up to $12,000. He said the club is now in the final phase of a $25,000 grant from UPS. The club members, about 65 students and adults, have also put on fundraisers, including a garage sale, a car wash, and plan to hold an auction in the near future.

“Everyone has been pretty much behind it,” Landis said. Local businesses have donated over $2,000, and donation boxes lent to BESC by the Dollars for Scholars program and placed around town have filled up quickly. The non-profit organization, under the Whole Town Team, will not ask the city for funds, according to Landis. They plan to continue fundraising and grant writing. Landis said he hoped to be able to start construction next summer. “I think the skatepark would be beneficial to everything Blaine wants to do,” he said. .

 

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