SKATERS CAN'T WAIT TO TRY OUT...SK8 PARK

May 08, 2001 11:00 pm
SKATE PARK OPENS: David Carrillo, 16 of La Grande tries out La Grande's new $350,000, 14,000-square-foot skateboard park Tuesday. The park, funded in part by a $185,000 grant from the state Parks and Recreation Department and a large amount of local support, offers quarter pipes, snake runs and bowls and ledges. (The Observer/PHILL BULLOCK).
SKATE PARK OPENS: David Carrillo, 16 of La Grande tries out La Grande's new $350,000, 14,000-square-foot skateboard park Tuesday. The park, funded in part by a $185,000 grant from the state Parks and Recreation Department and a large amount of local support, offers quarter pipes, snake runs and bowls and ledges. (The Observer/PHILL BULLOCK).

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Kids have been coming and going all day long, said James Contreras as he and a bevy of others gave their enthusiastic endorsement to La Grandes new skateboard park.

This is great, said Contreras, 15, pausing momentarily among the 50 or so youngsters of all ages who took advantage of the sunny, 75-degree day to give the new concrete structure an unofficial tryout.

The park, which has been named SK8 Park and carries a price tag of $350,000, isnt quite finished.

The city wanted to keep youngsters off the structure until the end of the week to ensure that it cured properly, but it was impossible to keep the kids away Tuesday.

While many stood against one railing and cheered on others, everybody seemed anxious to get air or pump down the backside of the hips to gain momentum to move on to other elements of the park.

Word spread quickly Tuesday that the 14,000-square-foot structure at Pioneer Park was in use. There are several transition areas that have been extended with ledges to form a greater challenge. The structure also includes a spine, where two transitions are back to back.

The bowl is elongated so it can be skated as a bowl or a half pipe. The style of skating, where the individual pumps to keep up momentum, is called old school skating.

The skateboard park, funded in part by a $185,000 grant from the state Parks and Recreation Department and a large amount of local support, offers quarter pipes, snake runs and bowls and ledges which present interesting challenges to the skaters.

The park is laid out to avoid dead ends and is designed to offer skate opportunities for the beginner as well as the advanced skater, said designer Steve Rose of the Purkiss-Rose-RSI architectural firm in Fullerton, Calif.

Tuesday several spectators stood around the edges, but the project calls for installation of benches, bike racks and picnic tables.

An official opening is planned for later.