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The excitement is mounting among skateboarders who are eagerly anticipating Saturday's opening of the new Shelby County Skate Park.
Dee Maynard, a volunteer who spearheaded the project to get a skatepark in the county, said much of the credit goes to the eight young people who helped raise the money for park.
"Six of them are in high school, one is in middle school, and the other is in grade school, and they gave up their winter break last December and spent their entire vacation researching area skate parks, interviewing vendors, and putting together a presentation to the park's board in January," she said.
The youngsters got the ball rolling, with Maynard's help, to persuade the Shelby County Fiscal to match a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. With that, and other donations, they raised the $90,000 needed to build the park.
Clay Cottongim, director of Shelbyville/Shelby County Parks and Recreation, said the City of Shelbyville donated land to be used for the skate park. He added that the entire project was a team effort by everyone involved, but that the hard work and dedication of Maynard and the kids was the guiding force behind making the park a reality.
"She [Maynard] is a wonderful volunteer and did excellent work to get this done," he said. "It's going to be a really nice park, a lot of research went into it, and a lot of hard work. The workers say the construction is on schedule, despite the rain, and it looks to be a go on Saturday."
Jake Gibson, a freshman at Shelby County High School, said the whole idea came about because he and some other kids kept riding their skateboard across the court where Maynard was playing tennis.
"She approached us with the idea, and I thought, 'Well, I'll go to the first meeting, anyway.' After that, I just stuck with it," he said.
He added that when the park opens, he plans to be there "just about every day."
Grant Wininger, 15, said that although he is not as good at skateboarding as some of the others, he is glad the park is finally a reality.
"I think it will be a good thing for the community," he said.
Maynard said she is grateful to those who donated money to build the park.
"Citizen's Union Bank donated $10,000 and challenged everyone to put up some money, and the business community stepped up to the plate," she said. "We also got a grant from the Moses Ruben Fund."
The park, Cottongim said, is 64-by-182 feet. It will be located in Daniel Field at the site of the former swimming pool.
According to Gary McInturff, crew leader of American Ramp Company out of Joplin, Mo., who installed the ramps, he and his crew have installed many ramps at skate parks around the country, and he thinks this one ranks among the higher quality parks.
"It's a little bigger than the average skate park and has some quality ramps," he said.
The ribbon cutting for the grand opening will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday.