A kidney bowl may sound like a prop you would find in a cheap '80s horror movie, but for local skateboarders, it’s just another challenge in the park.
Since November 2016, members of the Muncie community have come together in support of adding a skatepark in Westside Park.
The company behind the design of the park, Hunger Skateparks, just finished a project in New Castle, Indiana. The park officially opened Aug. 12 and will serve as an example of what the Muncie Skatepark Coalition is looking to do in Westside Park.
“I definitely use New Castle as an example for what we want to do whenever I get the chance, and now that it’s completed, even more so, highlighting the impact of how good a skatepark is for the town,” Benji Haecker, a member of the Muncie Skatepark Coalition said.
However, Muncie’s skatepark will not include the same features as New Castle’s.
“Whatever we did in New Castle will be very different in Muncie,” Christy Wiesenhahn, co-owner of Hunger Skateparks said. “We want to make sure that Muncie has its separate features.”
In addition to having separate features, Wiesenhahn said community feedback plays a large role in the overall design of the park.
“So after our last meeting … we got a little bit of feedback on the design that we presented, and then we just brought it back and really honed in on some elements and the street section mostly,” Wiesenhahn said.
Wiesenhahn said the skatepark will feature unique, community-inspired pieces as the project progresses.
“We’ll work on incorporating things that are important to Muncie into the park, and that might not be in the rendering right now, but it’s always in our heads and it should be in the community’s heads,” Wiesenhahn said. “Like, how can we add Muncie to the skatepark and make it unique?”
The coalition has $50,000 in donations and is looking to raise an additional $325,000 for the completion of the skatepark. They are looking to have 75 percent of their budget raised by spring 2018. In addition to donations, the coalition is applying for grants; however, before any organization will help fund the project, they want to see an involved community.
“It’s really important to get the involvement of the community, especially the younger kids. I know a lot of the coming up grants, they really want to see that kids are behind the project,” Haecker said.
The project is awaiting a slated completion date. The coalition will meet with Mayor Dennis Tyler tomorrow to further discuss the future of the skatepark.