VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — For nearly two decades, Lester Square Skate Park has welcomed kids from all over the area. It’s located near 10th and Church Streets.
Jesse Cummings was a teenager when he went around Vincennes, Indiana petitioning to get a skate park started. Once the project was completed, it provided the area with something different.
“For me as a kid, it gave me a spot where I knew it wouldn’t get kicked out. It also meant area skaters didn’t have to travel as far for competition,” Cummings said.
Across the street was a barber shop where Mayor Joe Yochum said he got a front-row seat to witness the park’s immediate impact.
“There were kids out there every day, all the time. Several kids out there using that park,” He added.
In recent years, the space has been hit with vandalism. graffiti and other property damage. Parts of ramps have been broken, garbage is sprayed across the ground and profanity covers doors.
The city often locks the public bathroom facility to prevent any further damage.
However, Cummings still sees potential in the site.
“It would be a really good investment for the city of Vincennes. I know after skating that park for so long, it got old, but it is still very fun for me after 16 years,” He added.
Plans call to add concrete ramps and remove the current ones being used. The design will be an open concept and the surrounding fence will be taken down.
Security cameras and more lighting will be added.
Originally, the estimated cost for this project was $250,000. However, Yochum said the cost has increased by around $100,000 due to construction costs.
The money will be from Capital Plan Bonds, the city will apply for grants.
“[We’re] looking for the extra money to make sure we can do the skate park properly. We don’t want to short-change it or cut anything out of it. We want to make sure it’s a skate park for all of the kids to enjoy,” the Mayor said.
Construction is anticipated to start by next year.
A new park also aims to incentivize community members to better take care of the facility and report anyone who doesn’t.
“There’s a lot of things, like any community, the city needs other than a skate park. But, at the same time, that skate park kept me out of a lot of trouble. All I wanted to do was skate,” Cummings said.
Cummings also plans to host a skating contest shortly. Money collected will go toward skate park renovations.