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Committee forms to gather input on new skate park in Jamestown

A committee has formed to gather input from community members on what a new skate park should include and to seek a location for it in Jamestown.

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The current skate park has been located in McElroy Park for over 20 years. A skate park planning committee is gathering input on a design for a new skate park and exploring options for the location of it.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN – A committee has formed to gather input from community members on what a new skate park should include and to seek a location for it in Jamestown.

The skate park planning committee came together because the current location of the skate park is not ideal, said Amy Walters, executive director of the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department. She said once a location is determined, designing a skate park can begin.

“That’s what we are working to do right now is going out and finding the folks who are interested in the activity who will be the users who can share their knowledge and their experience with us,” she said.

The committee held a community forum Tuesday, June 21, at McElroy Park to gather input for the skate park.

The current skate park has been located in McElroy Park for over 20 years. Planning committee member Troy Gunderson said the current skate park was never designed as one.

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“It filled a gap effort to try to put something there for the kids,” he said. “The other reason we developed this committee is that people have been asking for it (a skate park).”

MORE STORIES RELATED TO JAMESTOWN PARKS AND RECREATION:
Stories from the previous week that appeared on www.jamestownsun.com and in The Jamestown Sun.

He said the committee is exploring all options for a different location for the skate park.

“It’s hard to plan and start and visualize until we know where it’s going to be,” he said. “That might be something the public can speak into if somebody has an idea where it could go or has a piece of property that they are willing to do something with.”

Committee member Caleb Drahosh said a new skate park could introduce a new generation to skating or give them an option to be introduced to it. People who rollerblade or ride bikes, scooters or skateboards could use the skate park.

“My boys are interested in it, but we don’t have something at this moment that really would serve them just to get into it,” he said.

Committee member Christian Cairy said the committee has contacted Spohn Ranch – a company that designs and constructs skate parks – which was recommended by the Grand Forks Park District to get insight on how to start and what fits a city the size of Jamestown. He said the recommended skating surface should be at least 13,000 square feet, which would be adequate for basic features of a skate park and has room to add more items to it in the future. The overall complex would be larger than 13,000 square feet.

“This should be a nice facility to have other features in there for families like tables, mezzanines, covers, shelters, general amenities, bathrooms,” Gunderson said.

The skate park could include structures such as ramps, barriers, different types of wall elements, mini pipes, skateboarding bowls, stairs with rails and possibly a pump track that is a hilly concrete pad.

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“I would say the core traditional things … to incorporate that street element along with the vert element and then creating the transitions between those to flow well and is usable where you can skate, do many different combinations of tricks with all those features,” Cairy said.

Walters said the committee will look to fund the upfront costs of building a skate park through grants or donations. She said the Parks and Recreation Department would assume the ongoing maintenance and operating costs of the skate park once it is constructed.

Gunderson said community members who are interested in a new skate park can call the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department at 252-3982 and get their names on a list to be informed of upcoming committee meetings. He said the committee wants input on the layout of the skate park.

“This isn’t the committee that is going to decide that (layout of the skate park). That is going to come from interested people,” he said. “That is why we want folks to get involved. This is going to be built from scratch. We can do anything that the public supports.”

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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