- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Construction on one of the largest skate parks in Wisconsin is progressing swiftly in Madison.

The Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1K6LUWz ) reports that backers of the 20,000-square-foot park in the city’s Central Park say they expect it to draw skateboarders from around the Midwest. Construction on the $1 million skate park began in April and is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 19.

While the skate park is a city parks project, the Madison Skatepark Fund handled the fundraising. Founding member Pat Hasburgh said the group raised most of the money in 2013 after a $50,000 contribution from Willy Street Co-op served as a catalyst for additional support from local foundations.

“The whole experience has been really funny because we really didn’t have any fundraising experience going into this,” Hasburgh said.

Madison Parks Division Ann Shea says major earthwork operations have finished and the supporting retaining walls have been constructed. The two primary bowls have been poured and formed, but concrete pouring continues on the remaining features. Officials say there still is significant work that needs to be done, including the installation of the lighting system.

Skate park advocate Austin Lipinski, a member of the Madison Skatepark Fund and owner of a Madison-area skate shop, predicts the skate park will help boost the image of skateboarding and have a positive effect on the community and surrounding neighborhood

“It’s a long climb to find legal, safe places, where people can see how positive it can be for kids,” Lipinski said.

A date for the park’s grand opening has yet to be set.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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