Eastern Iowa cities look to improve and create new skate parks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa cities look to improve and create new skate parks

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Skateboarding is a popular activity for many eastern Iowa kids and adults. Many eastern Iowa cities have created parks geared towards those skaters. Currently, Dubuque is home to two different skate parks. But those skate parks are aging. Jake Roth is a skateboarder in Dubuque. He has been skateboarding since he was eight years old and frequently goes to McAleece skate park in Dubuque.

"It just doesn't flow very well," Roth said. "Plus the ramps are kind of loud and slightly dangerous actually."

Last year, the Dubuque Leisure Services Department sought information from skateboards about improving or creating a new skate park in Dubuque. Marie Ware is Manager for Dubuque Leisure Services. She says through the cities Capital Improvement budget, the Leisure Services department will be conducting studies and planning about possible skate park options in the coming year.

"In the Capital Improvement Budget of the city you will see it's a two year deal so in this year their is planning," she said. "Next year their is construction money. But the council never commits to that until that fiscal year. So it is a planned project but it will have to be balanced with all the other things as a part of the budget process this next time."

But 40 miles away, construction has begun on a new skate park in Manchester. The park is part of Manchester's Good to Great initiative. An initiative that also includes the cities plans for a Whitewater park. Doug Foley is Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Manchester. He says the community has wanted a skate park for a long time.

"The idea has been floating around in the community for years," Foley said." A couple of years ago we took some surveys of school kids, both high school and middle school, and one of the resounding answers was a skate park of something they would like to see the in the community."

"A lot of times that age group is hard to provide for and this is something that we feel that makes our community better," he said. "It gives our kids and young adults something else to do in the community."

Construction began on the skate park two months ago. Foley says he hopes the $90,000 project will be completed soon.

"We have had some local contractors that have been very generous that have donated a lot of time and expertise," he said. "We have been putting it together now for probably two months and we are getting a little bit closer each time...We are almost there."

The Manchester skate park is being funded through donations.

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