Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Winona indoor skate park proposal coasts forward

Winona indoor skate park proposal coasts forward (Full Article)

The Winona City Council late Tuesday heard from a few Winona natives who are proposing to move the city’s outside skate park from the East End Recreation Center to inside the West End Recreation Center, along with opening a skate shop there. The council reached consensus to move ahead with planning the details between the business, Anthem, and the city.

City staff said if the proposal becomes a reality, the business could look at beginning construction and moving by September.

“I certainly think it’s worth exploring,” Mayor Mark Peterson said.

The proposal would be a win-win for the city and the business, city staff said, by providing a solution for both an aging skate park and an unused building. The west end center hasn’t been staffed for at least five years due to budget cuts and lack of attendance, and has only been used as a rental facility. And in recent years the skate park hasn’t had a large number of skaters, because the park is in such disrepair that the city is ready to recommend either closing it or budgeting more than $100,000 for repairs.

Anthem co-owner Zach Krage said being a skater himself he can understand why the attendance rates have fallen. The equipment is noticeably rundown, particularly compared to skate parks in nearby communities.

“The quality of our skate park leaves a lot to desire,” Krage said. “The ground is not high quality surface. It’s built on top of rotting structure.”