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Skateboard park bids at less than $40,000; June opening possible

Pictured with the updated Kowabunga Skate and Bike Park are, from left, Steven Beyer, Cat Kawlewski, Ben Korsmo and Kyah Moore.

The dream of a determined bunch of youth and adults is finally taking shape in Perham.

Bids for a skateboard park were selected at the Perham City Council meeting April 12.

The bids came in substantially lower than earlier estimates. The concrete pad and the equipment will cost just under $40,000. The skateboard park committee raised nearly $55,000, and were anticipating construction and equipment costs as high as $60,000.

Winning the concrete bid was Blanchard Construction, at $12,890. It was the lowest of six bids, which ranged up to $20,000.

The equipment bids were also lower than anticipated. There were only two companies bidding, as a third bid was not accepted because it didn't arrive in time for the predetermined deadline.

American Ramp Company was the winning bid, at $25,275. Because the bids were so competitive, another $2,500 will be spent for specialized enclosures on the ramps. At a total of $27,775, the equipment bid was more than $6,000 below earlier estimates. The concrete pad bid was also about $6,000 below estimates.

The extra money that the skateboard promoters raised may go toward additional equipment, fencing, tables, a possible shelter and signage-of some combination of those items.

"I would like to thank Trish (McClellan) for the hard work they have done to make this park come to life," stated Perham public works director Merle Meece, in his report to the city council.

Councilman Jim Johnson agreed.

"You guys never gave up, we tip our hats to you," said Johnson.

Trish McClellan, one of the leaders of the skatepark fund drive, said the group is planning a groundbreaking for May 7 or May 8.

Once the concrete pad is poured, it requires 28 days to set and cure. The equipment takes about 45 days to arrive after it is ordered. With that time line, McClellan anticipates that the park could be usable by mid-June.