JUNCTION CITY, Ore. (KMTR) -- A skate park more than a decade in the making has finally become reality in Junction City.
Dozens of skates, bikers and parents celebrated the opening of the new Junction City Skate Park on Saturday, October 27 by cutting the ribbon and finally opening the facility to kids and teens.
The $175,000 project was paid for with about half coming from grants and half from donations. World famous skateboarder Tony Hawk even got a look at the plans and made an improvement, adding a quarter-pipe to the back of the park.
“Even Tony Hawk gave us a grant for $5,000 - one of ten in the nation - and that's due to the public . . . coming in to help, having spaghetti feeds, poker tournaments, bingo and all of that stuff, generating enough money to get this ball rolling and it got this where we are today,” says Randy Nelson, the chair of the Junction City Skate Park Committee.
The park will also honor the memory Junction city teenager, 14-year old Julius Schmidt, who was recently killed in a train accident. His friends have raised enough money to buy a bench and a plaque that will go in the park in the next two weeks.
Today, Schmidt’s friends and family took part in the grand opening.
"For me this means a lot because my son Julius, this is - skateboarding - was his passion. He lived in Cheshire, went to school here; these are his friends and the community has strong support for him and this means everything to him. I know he's here right now, just smiling in heaven,” says Myke Schmidt, the father of Julius Schmidt.
The park is now open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. It’s supposed to mimic a plaza with multiple rails, concrete benches, staircases, also half- and quarter-pipes. There is also room to expand in the future.