STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- A plan that was years in the works finally materializes in Stevens Point. Now there is a place to skateboard in Bukolt Park.
City leaders started planning almost five years ago then built it in less than six weeks. And skaters in Point say it's about time.
"As soon as we took that snow fence down they came," said Jami Gebert, one of the Skateboard Park Committee members. "If you build it, they will come."
And they did. More than an hour before the ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, skaters and bikers were hitting the concrete and testing out their new cement playground. Before this park was in the works, skaters had to find somewhere else to practice.
"At my friend's house we kind of made out of wood like ramps but otherwise I'd go to Plover Skate Park," said Miranda Dobbe.
"We used to have to go all the way to Plover," Jeffrey Butler said. "I didn't really like that. I would just skate in the streets but then you get yelled at."
But some skaters say the park in Plover doesn't even compare to the new one in Point.
"Oh, definitely not as good as this one," said Miranda.
"It's closer and it's got a lot of awesome stuff and it's got a bowl and stuff," said Robert Hansen.
Since the city couldn't afford to pay for the entire thing, community members chipped in to foot the bill and donations poured in from across the country.
"We've got donations from people that used to live in Stevens Point as children and skated and they sent us money and put in a little note: This is for all the curbs I ripped up when I lived in Point," said Gebert.
So after waiting longer than some of them can even imagine, now the skaters have a new place to play. And even if they can't pinpoint exactly why they like to skate, they now have a place in the city where they belong.
"We have a ton of baseball fields, we have a ton of football fields, we have a ton of playgrounds," said Gebert. "And there wasn't a place for skaters to be and this shows that we care about their interests and we care about them."
The city of Stevens Point went ahead and made up the difference so the park could be built but they are still taking donations to cover the rest of the costs. If you want to make a donation, you can contact the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin.