LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority has finalized the design plans for a new skate park in Elmer Thomas Park.
One long time skater says he’s been working with the city to get this project underway, and said the effort of the community in Lawton has helped push this up the city’s priority list.
“It started last year when we had those two meetings, but it seemed to lose momentum after that. It’s been a year since the last meeting, and whenever I started working with Parks and Rec to get this competition together, it seems like they kind of just came back to it, and said oh we need to start this fundraising," said Justin Stevens.
Lawton’s City Planner said the park will cost $300,000, and fundraising has barely started. To begin the process, Stevens along with the city are hosting a skate competition this Saturday at McMahon Park.
“What they are going to get at the event is not $300,000, but the good will or the effort , sweat equity. The community show’s its important by seeing the event, supporting the event and supporting the skate park themselves," said City Planner Richard Rogalski.
Because the price tag is so lofty, Rogalski said it will take a combined effort from LETA and local skaters to raise that $300,000.
“The city might not always be on it, but when they see an individual going out and doing their thing, they are like oh need to do this for real. We feel like we deserve a new skate park, and we will do whatever it takes to work for it, and raise money for it,” said Stevens.
Rogalski said the new skate parks design will focus on street skating and during the public meetings, it was clear that style of park is what the local skaters wanted.
“The best attended public meetings I have had were over this skate park. At the meeting it was very actively participated in. Spohn Ranch, who helped us with the design was great at getting input,” said Rogalski.
Stevens said he’s been skating in Lawton for 10 years, and he’s watched the skating community of Lawton, and in the rest of Oklahoma experience major growth. He said continuing that growth is why he remains committed to getting this new park in Lawton.
“I just felt like someone has to do it. It takes a little extra effort, and yeah you might have a million things going on, but if it’s something you care about, something you want to be involved in, you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen," said Stevens.
The skateboarding competition is called L-Town Throwdown and it kicks off Saturday at 1 pm. Skaters of all ages can come out and compete at McMahon Park.
The event is free but any donations will go towards completing the new Elmer Thomas Skate Park.