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Construction of Dubuque skate park nears completion

November 17, 2018

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Community organizers and city staffers look excitedly at the other side of winter when the skate park at Dubuque’s Flora Park is set to be completed, 13 years after the idea was conceived.

As temperatures continue to drop, folks can see that in the past few months, most of the park’s features have come into view.

Contractors have poured and formed most of the bowls, pipes, ramps, boxes and other obstacles planned for the park. Most of the concrete work left to be completed would be in the flat areas — the bowls’ bottoms and the surrounding deck.

Then, the city will have to wrap up the planned handicapped-accessible parking space and some drainage features.

While plans were to have the whole project built by the end of this year, the weather did not cooperate.

“We wanted to get it done this year, but with two months of rain in September and October, we’re behind,” said Dubuque parks division manager Stephen Fehsal. “That’s true with all of our projects, citywide.”

So, Dubuque is looking at a spring opening for the park. Kids in Dubuque Skate board member Jennifer Tigges — also a member of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission — said that is about time.

“It’s great to see,” Tigges told the Telegraph Herald . “It’s a long time coming. The kids who started this on their own are having kids of their own, 13 years later.”

In that time, the city agreed to contribute $600,000 for the project if KIDS could gather $200,000 to match. Through major grants from Grant Wood Loop and the Wellmark Foundation and more than 20 other donors, the organization overshot its goal and secured $265,000.

Some of that money went to design, then the actual construction cost of the park, which was $712,000. Tigges said the City of Dubuque has been extremely supportive of the effort, even outside of the $600,000, and that she was glad to see completion so near.

She also stressed that while many users of the park and youth organizers have been skateboarders, the park is designed and intended to be what she called an “all-wheeled park.”

“We’ve had rollerbladers interested and involved, BMXers, along with the skateboarders,” Tigges said. “There’s even a gal with a wheelchair who is interested.”

There are still some things on the wish list for this project — a shade structure included in early designs, and a water and restroom facility — that Tigges and Fehsal said might come later, but didn’t quite make the initial build-out.

Tigges said that in the future, she envisions the Dubuque skate park as a regional destination. She said she has toyed with the idea of buying co-op advertising with Olliewood Action Sports indoor skate park so visitors could skate outdoors during the day and indoors at night.

Feisal said he hopes to avoid one of the issues many outdoor skate parks attract — graffiti. He said there will be two security cameras mounted around the park and that the city plans to continue its policy of removing graffiti within 24 hours of its appearance.

“That’s not to say there won’t someday be an artwork component, but we don’t have plans for that now,” he said.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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