Pulaski County Commissioners Offer Support for Skate Park

Hunger Skateparks produced this rendering of the proposed Winamac Skatepark.
Hunger Skateparks produced this rendering of the proposed Winamac Skatepark.

A young man from Winamac has the blessing of the Pulaski County Commissioners to make his ambitious Eagle Scout project a reality. Clark Gudas wants to turn Rhinehart Park next to the Pulaski County Family YMCA into a skate park. He says it will give area youth a safe place to participate in activities like skateboarding, rollerblading and BMX biking.

“I’ve already made progress by securing more than $30,000 in donations, grants and corporate matching funds. I’ve chosen a designer and builder, and I’ve also secured in-kind donations such as lumber, round steel tubing, steel fabrication, soil and reduced cost lumber, rebar, concrete and stone,” Gudas told the commissioners.

The skate park will be 5,000 square feet of concrete. Gudas says such parks typically cost between $22 and $50 per square foot. Hunger Skateparks has agreed to build the park for $23 per square foot. That discount takes into consideration all of the in-kind donations and reduced-cost supplies. Gudas notes any unforeseen costs could raise that price. His timeline calls for work to start by the end of June, with one-third of the  proposed skate park to be done before July 20th to satisfy the requirements of the Eagle Scout project.

That’s Gudas’ 18th birthday, which is the deadline for completion of his community service project. Gudas must then go through an Eagle Scout board of review in order to achieve the prestigious rank. He plans to expand the skate park as funds permit. The entire project carries an estimated price tag of $115,000. Gudas has already secured the land and received approval from the Winamac Town Council to proceed with the project. He also has volunteers lined up to help with the actual work. Gudas says a skate park will be an asset to the community by providing a space for young people to engage in physical activity.

“It promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. It promotes a sense of community. It has a professional designer at a discounted rate. It will increase tourism for the town. It’s safer than riding and skating on public streets and sidewalks. It will reduce the damage to public and private property, such as the courthouse steps and railings and church steps and railings. The Town of Winamac will take care of long-term maintenance,” Gudas told the commissioners.

He is still applying for grants to fund the project. Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady and Terry Young voted unanimously to write him a letter of support to submit with those applications. Commissioner Tracey Shorter was absent. Arrowhead Country RC&D has agreed to act as a pass-through for donations, which means they are tax deductible. More information about the project can be found on the Winamac Skatepark Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Winamac-Skatepark/277219425663491