After several years of grass roots fundraising, the Grinnell, Iowa Skatepark is officially scheduled to begin construction. Located in Bailey Park, just east of Des Moines, Grinnell’s new concrete skatepark will replace a modest collection of wood ramps built by local riders as a temporary skatepark solution.
When the time came to move past a temporary set-up and hire a professional skatepark designer, Spohn Ranch was the City of Grinnell’s clear choice – having designed and built many of Iowa’s well-known skateparks.
As a first step, we invited local skateboarders and bike riders to a public meeting to discuss terrain styles and feature preferences. A true community engagement process ensured the final skatepark design reflected the specific needs of Grinnell’s skate/bike community. To our surprise, that process revealed Grinnell was a bike-dominant community with more BMX bike riders than skateboarders.
So while the Grinnell Skatepark will still accommodate skateboards, the final skatepark design is definitely skewed more toward bike-friendly terrain than our typical project. Scaling back on street-inspired elements, the design instead focuses on flowing roundwall at various heights and BMX staples such as a spine, roller and hitching post.
Zooming out, Grinnell’s unique design will provide some nice variety in the larger context of Iowa skateparks.
In the coming weeks, the City’s in-house forces will kick things off by demolishing the existing concrete slab. Then Spohn Ranch’s construction crew arrives the first week of June to take it from there. New concrete will be flowing in no time, so stay tuned for updates!