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Construction on Rydell skatepark to begin this spring

Rydell Skatepark. Submitted photo, taken by Scott Ahler

Construction on the second phase of the skatepark at Kannowski Park will break ground as soon as the weather permits.

Bill Palmiscno, executive director of the Grand Forks Parks District, said phase two will be completed in August.

Early estimates for the cost of this second phase are between $250,000 and $280,000.

The district has secured $187,000 of that figure so far, Palmiscno said.

"We are still fundraising. We are submitting two packages to the construction company, that way we can get one started and pitch another package in case we raise more money," Palmiscno said.

Todd Bratrud, graphic designer and owner of the skateboard company Send Help, has been serving as a liaison between the city and skateboard community throughout this process. Bratrud said the group will book Los Angeles-based skatepark design and building company, Spohn Ranch, which built the first phase of the skate park project.

Bratrud's hope is that the skatepark builders don't have to return to finish the project if funding isn't there.

"The best case scenario is we raise it all now so it can all be spent on actual construction and not spent on future fees to split construction into the next year," Bratrud said.

Palmiscno said the group is looking to raise between $50,000 and $75,000 more than they already have.

When construction does start, Palmiscno said the first phase of the park will still be usable.

"This will get the kids more room to skate," Palmiscno said. "We're getting great numbers showing up down there, and the weekends were just packed when it was warm."

In the first phase, a "bowl" was built, which can be difficult for beginners, Palmiscno said.

"This phase will be easier. It will be more for new skaters so they can gradually grow into using the bowl part," Palmiscno said.

Rydell Car Dealership donated more than $100,000 for the first and second phases of the skatepark, Bratrud said. Ralph Engelstad Arena donated $100,000 to the park, and the park also received some federal Community Development funds from the city of Grand Forks, Palmiscno said.

To donate to the skatepark, go to the Grand Forks Park District website, www.gfparks.org, or call the parks office at (701) 746-2750.

Bonnie Meibers

Meibers joined the Herald in September of 2018. She reports on all things business in Grand Forks and the surrounding areas. Have a tip or want to get to know her? Call her at (701) 780-1114 or email her at bmeibers@gfherald.com.

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