Prairie du Chien Skate Park construction underway
By Ted Pennekamp
The Prairie du Chien Skate Park is finally becoming a reality much to the delight of local and area skateboarders.
“I’m very excited and the committee is very excited,” said Skate Park Chairwoman Lorie Floyd, who has spearheaded the project for the past 10 years. “It’s been a lot of hard work and we’re thrilled that it’s finally coming together.”
On Monday and Tuesday, a crew from American Ramp Company of Joplin, Mo. hauled in and began assembling several pieces of concrete equipment, some of which weighed in excess of 7,000 pounds. Once assembled, there will be eight obstacles on which skateboarders can test their skills, said Floyd.
Floyd noted that the Prairie du Chien Skate Park is unique and custom designed for the site near the Prairie du Chien Aquatic Park, 1401 E. Wells St. She said that the workers from American Ramp Company said that they hadn’t seen anything quite like it. Obstacles will include quarter pipes, a halo bank, a pyramid, a half pyramid, bank ramps and a concrete skateboard bench that looks like a huge skateboard.
Floyd said that she hopes that the unique design of Phase I will pique the interest of not only skateboarders from throughout the region, but also from more donors so that Phase II can get funding. Phase II will add several more obstacles to the skate park, and Floyd said that it is hoped that Phase II can begin in about three to five years.
“Come on out and take a look at it,” said Floyd. “It looks like a lot of fun. It’ll be a great addition to our park system.”
When all of the obstacles are set up and in place, concrete flatwork will be done in order to tie all of the obstacles together, so that skateboarders can skate all around the park from one obstacle to the next. Signs recognizing donors and signs explaining the rules for the park will also be put in place.
Floyd said Phase I cost approximately $50,000 and is still about $3,000 short. She noted that numerous people, businesses and organizations have donated time and money for the park. Numerous brat fries and other fundraisers have been undertaken over the years and now the effort is paying off.
Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich said the Crawford County Children’s Advisory Board will invite the public to a grand opening on June 14 at 9 a.m. to recognize the many people involved in making the park a reality. The park will then be open to users during regular park hours, he said.
Floyd said the cost of Phase II of the skate park is estimated at $75,000. Gifts of $250 or more will have the company name or the individual’s name listed on the skate park sign near the park entrance. The sign will also recognize annual Mississippi Mud Run donors. Gifts of $1,000 or more will be recognized on the donor wall.
Phase I received a major boost through a George Family Foundation Grant of $10,000, said Floyd, who also noted that Pellock Construction of Prairie du Chien donated their time and expertise in constructing the sub slabs of concrete that were completed this past fall.
The land, valued at $20,000, was donated by the city of Prairie du Chien, which has also donated $1,000 in each of the past two years. Other entities helping with the skate park include, but are not limited to, members of the Wisconsin National Guard, Steiner Construction, the Prairie du Chien Master Gardeners, Vierbicher Associates, Novey Construction, the Wonder Workers 4H Club and the city’s Public Works Department. In addition to events such as the annual Chicken Q and the Mississippi Mud Run, a new fundraiser in 2014 will be the “Zombie Dash” during Oktoberfest on St. Feriole Island.
Anyone wishing to make donations or volunteer time toward either Phase I or Phase II can contact Lorie Floyd at (608) 996-2107 or Mike Ulrich at (608) 326-7207.