Skatepark inches closer to opening

Published on Thu, May 20, 2004 by rent Cole

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Skate park inches closer to opening

By Brent Cole

On June 5 and 6, the Blaine Extreme Sports (BES) club will hold their third annual giant garage sale at the Blaine middle school gym. If anyone would like to donate items, call Jon Landis at 332-9394 or Dory Binder at 371-5038.

As summer approaches, the sounds of kids skateboarding and playing basketball will soon fill the air behind city hall. After two and a half years of planning, coordinating, and fundraising, the Blaine skate park is getting closer to opening up.

“We are trying to complete the concrete pad by summer, so kids have a place to go,” said Blaine police officer Jon Landis, who has been instrumental in transforming the skate park from a dream to a reality.
He continued, “I am trying to have the platform finished by the time school gets out June 11.”

According to Landis, once the concrete pad is laid, work will kick into high gear. “During the summer we will be building the bathrooms, ramps, lighting and adding picnic tables, barbecue pits, fencing, benches for spectators, and landscaping.”

The BES is the primary organization behind the skate park. The 150-member club was organized to help the kids achieve the dream of having a local skate park.

One aspect of the skate park that parents will appreciate is the web cam that will be installed overlooking the park. Said Landis, “The web cam will be in place so kids and family can see what is going on at the park.”
After the skate park is finished, BES will be responsible for maintaining the park, as well as putting on competitions.

“Our goal is to provide a fun, safe place for youth and adults to take part in these activities as well as to give them a solid beginning in these sports.”

“The purpose of the club was for youth to develop patience, persistence and agility while learning how to master the basics of skateboarding, in-line skating, and BMX riding. The goal is to provide a fun, safe place for youth to skate as well as to give them a solid beginning in their sport. We believe that by organizing these sports in Blaine we can help young people acquire a positive self-concept and become creative productive citizens,” said Landis.

The skate park couldn’t have happened without the support of local businesses and one well-known skateboarder. “Tony Hawk started it all off with a $5,000 donation, but the biggest donations have come from several construction companies,” said Landis. The construction companies have donated over $20,000 by building the foundation of the skate park. Landis continued, “We would have never been able to make it this far without their donation of heavy equipment, time, expertise and hard work.” Several other Blaine businesses have donated between $250 and $500, with Podiatric Laboratories donating $1,000.

What has amazed Landis is how people have donated their time, even those who don’t skateboard. “It has been awesome to see all the independent construction companies come together and volunteer their equipment and time to build this park. What makes it even more special is all these guys have never skated before. They are doing this for the kids of Blaine. I can’t say enough about these guys.”