Skate park designers seek input

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Charlie Wilkins, a designer with Spohn Ranch Skate Parks, takes ideas from local skateboarders on ideas for the park coming to Houghton later this year during a design workshop Tuesday.

HOUGHTON — When Spohn Skate Parks designs Houghton’s new park, it won’t be missing out on response from local skaters.

Spohn Ranch designer Charlie Wilkins showed community members a range of possible design elements during a workshop Tuesday.

Photos of elements that would work for the park lined the wall by the door. Skaters could point to what they wanted; a red dot was then placed there to denote enthusiasm.

The design consensus from skaters was a simulated street style, rather than simulated backyard bowls, Wilkins said. The design will also emphasize those with boards, though some terrain will also work for bicyclists, he said.

Sam Foerster, who’s been skating in Houghton for almost 20 years, was excited to meet the team building the park.

“There’s a ton of good stuff that they’ve been showing,” he said. “I think it’s just a matter of finding what’s going to fit the budget and then what’s going to please the most people.”

Braydan Lampela, 13, of Hancock, plans to use the park. He came because “his mom made him,” said his mother Nicole Lampela.

“He’s going to be a user,” she said. “I wanted him to be involved and see what it takes.”

Lampela’s already gone to skate at parks in Wisconsin. As for the idea of a park closer to home, he said, “I like it.”

Attendees filled out a survey with their age, their skill level and how they will use the park. The information is aggregated to get a sense of what will work and the needs of the park.

Wilkins will incorporate that information, as well as the most popular features, into the final design.

“I’ll get a site base in CAD, and I’ll just start mucking about with it and having fun and doing what I do,” he said.

The design will then go up on the Facebook page for review. Tweaks will be made from there.

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