WATERLOO — Plans have been approved to start building a new skatepark near Exchange Park.
Waterloo City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $359,000 contract with Spohn Ranch of Los Angeles to break ground this spring on a new Riverside Skatepark.
Members of the nonprofit CedarLoo Skateboard Association sat patiently through a lengthy agenda of other business to endorse the project they’ve been seeking since flood waters wrecked the previous park in September 2016.
“It will be four years in September that the original park was destroyed,” said association member Brian Helmrichs. “Let’s get ground broken so we can put this behind us and actually get to enjoy the park.
“I wanted to remind the public and the council that the bulk of this money has been raised through nonprofit means, donations by members of our community, the Schoitz Foundation,” he added.
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The project is being financed with a $150,000 grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association, a $100,000 grant from the Otto Schoitz Foundation, $2,000 from the CedarLoo Skatepark Association and up to $150,000 in city bonds as needed.
Mayor Quentin Hart thanked the association for raising money through benefit concerts and keeping attention focused on the park. Dozens of skateboarders turned out a year ago when the temperatures dipped to 30 below zero to give input on the park’s design.
“Anytime anyone put out any misinformation all of you kept people focused on trying to work together to make this project a reality,” Hart said.
The new skatepark, which was also designed by Spohn Ranch, will be located out of the floodway near the Joe Straub Memorial Field at Park Road and Fairview Avenue, overlooking the Waterloo Boat House.
Skaters have been forced to use parks in Cedar Falls and Evansdale since the September 2016 flood. Many have found use of sidewalks and stairs at public buildings as well.
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