POCATELLO — The Gate City is officially unveiling its newly refurbished skatepark.
The Parks and Recreation Dept. and the Southeast Idaho Skatepark Association will present a check during a ribbon cutting of the Ross Park Skatepark on September 20 at 5:15 p.m.
David Van Etten, founder of the Southeast Idaho Skatepark Association, has been a huge supporter of improving the park for a long time. He tells EastIdahoNews.com the renovations are a welcome sight.
“This was long overdue and the skateboarders and all the kids that have been out at the park are so excited,” Van Etten said.
He put together a proposal to buy 35 sheets of gator skins to resurface the ramps and the asphalt, and take down the fence around the park. Anne Butler, Director of Parks and Recreation, met with Van Etten at Ross Park and took stock of the status the park was in.
The gator skins were paid for by multiple donors. Mayor Brian Blad donated $1,000 from his Blue Cross Walking Challenge. Lookout Credit Union matched his donation and the Southeast Skatepark Association donated to the park’s refurbishment. The remaining $2,000 needed was donated out of the Parks and Recreation budget.
Troy Gilgen, the owner and operator of Gilgen’s Asphalt Maintenance donated his companies time to reseal the park’s asphalt. He said the new asphalt will provide community value for the kids who skate on the park.
“I just thought ‘we’ll just do it for the kids.’ Really, there’s nothing behind it other than (that),” Gilgen said.
The weekend after the park’s asphalt was sealed, Van Etten and Butler saw the park packed with skaters enjoying the new surface.
The fences around the park were knocked down by Parks and Recreation department crew members.
The Parks and Rec. Dept., along with other volunteers, will work on resealing the ramps after the ribbon cutting. Parks and Rec will also evaluate the frames of the ramps to determine which ones need to have welds replaced.
Getting this park refurbished has been a community effort, Van Etten says, and he’s grateful for the “outpouring of support.”
“This is a huge win for the youth in our community,” Butler said. “We have a good amenity there but a refresh never hurts, so I think a lot of people will enjoy it.”
The association’s ultimate goal is to build a new skatepark. Butler said it’s definitely a possibility and the city is willing to work with them in the future.