About two miles northwest of the University of Oregon, a project that will break ground for the largest public-covered skate park is going to be built under the Washington-Jefferson Bridge. Construction for the project should begin at the end of June and will be completed in early winter or fall, according to Colette Ramirez-Maddock, recreation program assistant with the City of Eugene’s Outdoor Program.
The planning started in 2002 with the mindset of revitalizing Washington-Jefferson Park. Two years later, 1,000 signatures were gathered in favor of building the skate park. The skate park will be on the north end of the currently existing basketball courts and will replace the playground.
Original estimates put the cost of the park at $1 million, but ended up being estimated at around $2 million dollars.
Three-quarters of the skate park will be funded through system development charges, which will mostly come from the developers of the many new apartment complexes in the university area. The rest will come from the city and three private groups — Skaters for Eugene Skateparks, Downtown Rotary and the Eugene Parks Foundation.
“We’re at about $150,000 and we have another $200,000 in grants that we are waiting to hear back from,” Ramirez-Maddock said. “So we’re doing really good, we’re happy with what we’ve made so far.”
City officials expect to maintain the venue through a combination of volunteer park adoption groups and rental income, from food cart and other vendors, who will be allowed at the skate park, plus rental charges for groups that hold events there.
UO student Alex Bennett has been skating for 10 years and is happy to have a covered skate park come to Eugene. Having the nation’s largest public covered skate park in Eugene is going to be significant toward the local skate scene by bringing events to the area.
“I’m super stoked, Eugene has a lot of nice little parks, but I think a big covered one would be awesome, especially with Eugene’s rainy weather,” said Bennett.