Sunset Skatepark ready to start next steps as budget is approved

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Downtown Evansville is getting a new look along the riverfront, coming early 2022. The Sunset Skatepark that has been in the works for quite some time will make its appearance, bringing smiles all across the Tri-state.

“It’s gonna be this thing that every skateboarder is going to want all across the City of Evansville,” said Glenn Davidson, owner of Killer Skate Park and Shop.

The City has approved a $650,000 budget towards the project in addition to nearly $200,000 funded by “the skate and bike community, fundraisers, community partners, and grants from Vectren, The Skatepark Project, and most recently, the Welborn Foundation,” according to the Sunset Skatepark press release.

“A few of us even put together various fundraising events throughout the city,” said Heather Vaught, Sunset Skatepark Project Organizer Volunteer. “We’ve had shows, and hotdog fundraisers at Lamasco and all kinds of things. So I think that there’s been a lot of people that have wanted to contribute to this so it’s really added up.”

Vaught, an Evansville native, has helped spearhead the project’s coordination along with the City of Evansville. She says she is excited to bring a concrete skatepark as an upgrade to the city’s only skatepark — at Lamasco Park. She and other Tri-Staters say the pre-fab park is in disrepair and long past its life expectancy. They say the riverfront is the perfect place for the addition.

“It’s just another one of those cool amenities that I think will draw people downtown to the riverfront,” said Steve Schaefer, Deputy Mayor and Interim Park Director. “And as we continue to add and have these types of facilities, it helps with tourism, it helps with recreation and activation of our riverfronts, so we’re excited.”

The skatepark will be open to all wheels, including bikes skateboards, and possibly even roller derby.
Vaught says the location between mickey’s kingdom and the pump station will attract people of all ages where they can feel welcome.

“As a parent it’ll be great if you have older kids and younger kids you can kind of bring them to the same location and then there’ll be also some kids’ amenities at the pump station,” added Vaught. “So I think that it’ll be really cool to have like a very cohesive corridor there of activities for people to do.”

“I’m stoked!” said Zach Spooner, an Evansville native. “This has been a long time coming. I’ve been skating in this town for 10 years and I’ve been hearing about it ever since I started skating and I’ve been looking forward to it the entire time and it’s really awesome that it’s finally coming to fruition.”

Vaught and Schaefer said they are excited to have a safe place for kids to hang out and that they hope it can have an impact on crime. According to a study by the National Recreation and Park Association — active, skill-development recreational opportunities for middle and high school kids reduces juvenile crime.

The next steps for the project is to solidify the construction plan in the upcoming months with a second input session before building. This project is still looking for sponsors, so if you or your business are interested, you can head to the Sunset Skatepark website here or email Heather Vaught at hello@skatesunset.com.

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