030 Skate Park Is Open.jpg

There were loud cheers as Darren Dunkle, Washington Parks Director, told a group of more than 40 skaters, park board members, city officials and residents that the new park is now open for skating.

A dedication was held Thursday, May 23, at the skate park, which is located at Optimist Park, at Ninth Street and Southbend Drive.

During the dedication, Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy thanked the voters, who approved the half-cent sales tax that allowed the park to be built.

“You all have proved that it’s not a fad,” the mayor said.

Dunkle also thanked the park board for fighting to get the skate park.

“There are a few here who have been fighting for 30 years,” he said. “We thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

Skaters of all ages took to the park doing tricks, practicing skating and some just watching.

Riders on BMX bikes and scooters also used the skate park.

Skaters said they are thankful to the city of Washington for building the park.

“Everything is great,” said Alex Dobersteen.

“Thank you very much. We appreciate it,” added Felix Forjan before the two skated off to show off their moves.

The skate park, which is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., is unsupervised, but has several rules and regulations, which are posted at the park.

Four tennis courts at Optimist Park were demolished to make way for the skate park. New tennis courts were constructed at Phoenix Park.

The city worked with American Ramp Company, doing business as Hardcore Shotcrete Skateparks, on the park design and construction.

A total of $250,000 was allocated in the city’s 2011-12 half-cent capital improvement sales tax budget for the skate park.