PITTSBURG — Skateboarding and BMX enthusiasts are hoping to kick-off fundraising for a new skatepark.
In 2015, a task force team and the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation worked together on a proposal for a new skate park to replace the one in Schlanger Park.
American Ramp Company’s bid was accepted, along with pricing and the desired location at 4th and Rouse was selected.
A new skate park will cost between $190,000 to $200,000 depending on the location.
“We are thinking about the corner of 4th and Rouse,” Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Director Kim Vogel said. “It has high visibility and is close the trail and school and the convenience store.”
Lou Sours, 13 years old, said he started riding a skateboard because his dad did and he thought it looked like fun.
Sours is a Youth Ambassador in the Tony Hawk Foundation. The foundation gives grants to help low-income areas create high-quality public skateparks.
Pittsburg Skate Park Task Force Member and Lou Sours’ mother, Shelly Sours said the grant wasn’t awarded to them just yet because the foundation would like to see more progress in the task force’s fundraising. They will apply again this year after some fundraising efforts.
On the Fourth of July the task force met at Lincoln Park with a pump track and sold drinks and on Labor Day weekend — during Little Balkans Days — they will be fundraising again.
Money is also being raised through sponsorships, which will be a permanent part of the new skatepark.
According to Vogel, there is a fundraising account set up at the Community Foundation for the project and donations to the project are tax deductible.
In the condition the current skatepark is in, it could be unsafe and the size of the park limits what they can do.
“We would like to have a better flow so you can keep going,” Lou Sours said. “You can only do a few tricks — better flow will help us learn tricks and skate better.
“On the rail slide we can’t get speed because the concrete is too broken,” Lou Sours said. “There is so much you can’t do because of the concrete.”
Lou Sours’ friend 13-year-old Dilan Calderon said falling is one of his main concerns.
“We are just trying to have fun,” he said. “Sometimes we go skating at Schlanger Park, but the three of us fall there — mostly me, because there are a lot of holes”
Their friend, 15-year-old Abelarto Romero Gomez, agreed.
“It is rocky and has limited space — we get bored,” he said. “There is not a lot of other spots to skate.”
Shelly Sours said although the children are pretty tough, she would like to see a safer place for her son to skate.
“It would be nice if it was a little easier to skate,” she said. “The ramp is too tall for beginners,
I would like to see something user friendly — easier to learn on and much safer.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.