Kids and community members invited to give input on skate park expansion this Thursday evening

 - A sign at the skate park on Northeast Juniper Street shows the expansion design. A local government grant through Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will help cover the cost of the estimated $600,000 needed for the project.

Expansion of Prineville's skate park is moving forward as final design of the new and improved facility is nearing completion.

But before Dreamland Skateparks completes that design and passes it along to Crook County Parks and Recreation District leaders, they will host one more meeting to gather final input from kids and other community members. That meeting will take place Thursday evening at Pioneer School, beginning at 6:30.

"This is the final design meeting for the new skate park renovation," said CCPRD Executive Director Duane Garner. "Dreamland Skateparks came out a couple years ago and met with a group of about 60 kids. We got input and came up with a conceptual design. That is what we have been rolling with as far as cost estimates go and basic layout."

Pursuit of the renovations began in earnest a few weeks ago when Garner succeeded in landing a local government grant through Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It was his third time applying for the grant. Some other funds have since been donated by pickleball players, who have an interest in the renovation project because it includes improvements to the nearby tennis courts, and other money has been donated by members of the public. The district has currently raised $480,000 of the $600,000 needed to complete the project, which includes installation of some surveillance cameras as well.

"We are going to get something done with what we have," Garner said.

The initial design of the skate park resembles a plaza-style facility where most of the features — ramps, steps, etc. — are built from the ground level up.

"The landscape of the area, being next to Ochoco Creek, we can't go real deep," he said. "We do have a bowl, but most everything is going to be built up."

Garner added that designers have so far focused on creating a facility that will appeal to skaters of all skill levels.

"There will be some features that are complicated and fun for those who have some higher level skills," he said, "but there is going to be something for the beginners, too. I think there is going to be something for everybody."

Kids and adults alike are encouraged to attend Thursday's final design meeting and take the opportunity to ask questions of Dreamland Skateparks representatives and offer final input on how the expanded facility is designed.

"Dreamland will be the ones who run the meeting. They will facilitate questions and answers and interaction between folks," Garner said. "They want as much feedback (as possible) from kids, from the users as well as the parents."

Following the meeting, parks district personnel will take the final design and construction drawings and put the project out to bid. Garner hopes to see builders break ground by late spring.

"We are trying to have it functional by the end of June," he said.

Skate Park Final Design Meeting

Date: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25

Location: Pioneer School, 641 E. First St.

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