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Skate park group sets $75K fundraising goal as effort moves ahead

Nov 18, 2012 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Ramps and money were on the agenda at a recent meeting of the Central Wyoming Skateboarding Association.

About 20 members of the new club met at the Fremont County School District 25 administration building to discuss fundraising and speak with a skate park company salesman.

Matthew Wright presented a custom-made donation box to the club. The box, which was built by Wright's dad, is a miniature half-pipe skate ramp enclosed in clear Plexiglas with a slot on top.

Chris McNeil, the club's acting chairman, said he would like to place 10 of the boxes at local businesses.

The club's goal is to raise $75,000 in a year to either rebuild the skate park in City Park or construct a new one. McNeil said Scott's Welding & Fabrication in Riverton already has donated $1,000. The club also plans to apply for a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Fremont County School District 25 Recreation Board, McNeil said. He added that the City of Riverton will match what the club raises, up to $25,000.

Club members created an events committee and a fundraising committee which will find sponsors, organize fundraising projects and plan events.

"This club is moving fast," McNeil said. "My head is spinning."

Park design options

The club invited Josh Willis, a representative of the American Ramp Company, to speak about the park's design costs and possibilities.

Willis said his company can create custom ramps and skate park designs. Their all-steel ramps are the most popular with municipalities, he said. They have a smooth riding surface, require almost no maintenance, and have a 20-year warranty.

"It's the most bang for your buck," Willis said.

The ramp company also makes ramps with a resin-based riding surface on top of polyethylene and steel all mounted on either a lumber or steel frame. Willis said those ramps offer a quieter ride but are more expensive, need more maintenance, and the skate surface usually only lasts five years.

The final option the company offers is concrete, either pre-cast or cast-in-place.

Willis said ARC casts concrete ramps in its Joplin, Mo., factory, then assembles the ramps on a concrete pad into a skate park on-site. He said a local contractor can do some of the work, like pouring the pad, or ARC can do everything. His company warranties its pre-cast ramps for 15 years, Willis said.

Willis asked the assembled club members what kind of ramps they are most interested in. The majority of hands went up for pre-cast concrete.

The group and Willis then put together a list of elements the skaters would like in a new skate park. McNeil suggested they look at building a park in three stages, the first having a budget of $75,000. Willis said he would put together a design based on the club's budget and wish list.

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