The City of Madison is set to kick, push and coast after securing all necessary funds to build its first skatepark.
The Madison Skatepark Fund has secured the necessary funds to be able to break ground this June on a project that was started more than a decade ago, Patrick Hasburgh, spokesperson for the Madison Skatepark Fund, said. Successful completion of this project will bring Madison its first public skatepark in the Marquette neighborhood.
The fundraising project for the skatepark was started by now adult-aged skaters, and organizers behind the Madison Skatepark Fund are excited to see it through to completion and use by the Madison community, Hasburgh said.
“We were sort of a bunch of ragtag skateboarders who just really wanted a skatepark and so in the beginning we held small fundraisers, like punk rock shows and skate demos to get people to notice us and maybe donate money to the fund,” he said.
Hasburgh added he thinks the Madison community is looking forward to this new addition. All of the donations and grants for the construction of the new skatepark have come from businesses like Willy Street Co-op and organizations like Dane County Partners for Recreation and Conservation, he said.
According to a Madison Skatepark Fund statement, the City of Madison allocated $300,000 in the 2013 capital budget toward the project and also donated the land for the park. Willy Street Co-op provided the first major pledge to the project and committed $50,000 in exchange for naming rights to the skatepark bowl, the statement said.
“The coolest thing about being a part of this project is that the biggest supporters are companies and organizations from within the community where the skatepark will be built,” Hasburgh said.
The skatepark will be built in Central Park in the Marquette neighborhood, about a block away from the Willy Street Co-op and between East Washington Street and Willy Street at the site of an old railroad corridor, Hasburgh said.
Michael Jacob, Marquette Neighborhood Association president, said the Marquette neighborhood is looking forward to the addition.
“I think the skatepark is good for the neighborhood, and the neighborhood is good for the skatepark,” Jacob said. “Marquette is already a neighborhood that brings people from all walks of life, so the addition of the skatepark will be yet another place that all sorts of folks can go enjoy.”
Hasburgh said he agrees the location of the skatepark is ideal, and they had the option to build in many places. They wanted, however, to be downtown where the park would be very accessible and are happy it turned out this way, he added.
The 20,000-square-foot park will be made mostly of concrete and cost around $850,000 to build, Hasburgh said. Computer-rendered images of the proposed layout show that the park will include rails, ramps, bowls and more.
“Eight hundred, fifty thousand is right in line with what you would expect to be paying per square foot for any park of this size. So it seems pricey, but it’s a large skatepark so it might come with what seems like a slightly higher price tag,” he said.
Thanks to community donations and grants, this project now has a tangible end goal of starting construction in June and hopefully opening the park in mid-August, Hasburgh said.