BOISE -- Revamping Boise's downtown skatepark located under the connector is the big idea for local skaters and others in the community who want to see that area of town cleaned up and rid of some problems from non-skaters who congregate around the area at all times of day and night.
The improvements skaters would like to see done in phases would cost around $1 million, but they're taking it upon themselves to work with Boise Parks and Recreation Department, get the money and get it done.
Rhodes Park is one of three skate parks in Boise and the city's recreation manager says it could use some upgrades.
When it was first designed, it was never designed specifically as a skateboard park. It was designed as a park where skateboarding would take place. Over the years though, skateboarding has evolved as the primary function and use down there, said Paul Schoenfelder, the Recreation Manager for the Boise Parks and Recreation.
Though the park is popular with some skaters, unfortunately, some have complained the park is now also popular with non-skaters causing trouble, some of it involving violence, drugs or alcohol.
Really what we look for is the idea that if there's more positive activity in an area, then it's going to bring people that are there for a positive reason. People that are up to no good generally don't want to do it around a lot of eyes where people are paying attention, Schoenfelder said.
The new plans, drafted by a professional company out of Seattle, have a lot of features including a skate plaza. The idea is to make Boise's Rhodes Park an attractive destination for skaters.
So you'd have hard surfaces, cement, concrete, brick block, that are very durable, that you might see on the city hall steps or you might see some loading dock where you see features that are very skateable, this plaza would look like a plaza that would mimic some of those more natural features, Schoenfelder said.
But with a million dollar price tag, it's not something the city will just hand over the money for. So, the Boise Skateboard Association is working with the city to raise money to overhaul the park, to make it a nice place to look at downtown and for skaters to use.
We need to look at what young people are doing and provide that opportunity for them. Because this community believes in healthy, vibrant activities, said Lori Wright, Boise Skateboard Association President. We see that more people there skating, the less of any other activities will be going on, more healthy skating type of activities will be going on.
The city has already received a $10,000 grant from famous skater Tony Hawk's foundation. In all, the Skateboard Association has raised around $23,000. The first phase of construction is going to take a lot more though, with an estimated cost of $330,000.
To learn more about the project and how to donate click here.