MARQUETTE - Despite colder temperatures and a fair amount of rain last week, plans are still in place to have the new skate park at the corner of Pine Street and Fair Avenue finished by mid-October.
"We plan to have all of it done before the snow falls. Obviously there are some finishing touches that will need to be done in the spring, but it will be operational," said Nheena Weyer Ittner, skate plaza committee member.
Construction workers are currently in the process of filling all of the features with concrete and will soon begin pouring concrete along the entire perimeter. Granite will also be delivered in the next few days.
Members of the California-based company Spohn Ranch work on building a feature this morning at the new skate park outside of the Marquette YMCA, on the corner of Pine Street and Fair Avenue. Work is expected to be completed in mid-October. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
Ittner said the skate plaza group hasn't yet addressed landscaping or donor recognition. While the committee estimated the total cost of the project to be around $200,000, she said, every construction project has unexpected expenses. Ittner said the committee plans to meet to discuss additional fundraising.
In 2006, the Marquette City Commission committed funds, based on a one-to-two matching ratio, of up to $75,000 for the skate plaza project. Under the agreement, the skate plaza committee must raise at least $150,000 to get the full amount from the city. Once the plaza is completed the city will take over ownership and maintain it.
Spohn Ranch, a California-based company specializing in designing and creating skate parks, has been assisting with the work since mid August. Ittner said they are expected to remain on the project for two to three more weeks.
The committee is planning on a grand opening ceremony for the plaza, though Ittner said she expects the park to be in use well before that.
"I think the kids are going to love it. This is a state-of-the-art park ... I am really hoping that the park will be so good that they (kids) won't be skating on people's property anymore."
Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.