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Skateboarding concert planned Wednesday

Aug 25, 2013 - By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

The Central Wyoming Skateboarding Association and Bar Ten will host a concert at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Fremont County Fairgrounds Heritage Hall to raise funds for the construction of a new skate park.

As part of the CWSA's ongoing effort to finance the park, the organization has planned a night of live music, food and drink, open to anyone 14 and older. The concert will feature music from southern California hard rock trio Kyng with a special appearance by The Bucks of Jackson Hole playing covers of older punk music.

Bar Ten owner Jason Hawk said Kyng will be "taking quite a few dollars off" its performance price, and The Bucks - part of the skate park organization in Jackson Hole - will be donating its time.

The CWSA was created about two years ago, and the plan for the new park began a little less than a year ago, said Chris McNeil, president of the CWSA.

The park will serve as a means to "rehabilitate the couch potato - to get the kids outdoors," NcNeil said. "It gives them a chance to get out of the house, gives them a chance to focus, helps them solve problems. It helps them with life."

The design for the anticipated park is complete, modeled after the design of an existing park in Glenn County, Georgia. Construction likely will be done in two phases and could start as early as next summer, McNeil said.

The planned park will be about 10,000 square feet, with raises, boxes, stairs, half and quarter pipes and open bowl areas. It will be built roughly in a circle, with the goal of creating even "flow." It also includes plans for a granite or brick wall at the entrance listing contributors to the park.

The current park is homemade, built on top of an abandoned swimming pool designed to hold water.

The current park is also not conducive to good flow of movement. Sometimes skaters and bikers move the equipment to increase flow or to produce new obstacles. If done incorrectly, the new configurations can be dangerous to skate or bike on.

McNeil said cracks in the concrete of the current park make also the area less safe.

The total estimated cost of the new park is $270,000, but McNeil says it may be less depending on donated materials and labor. The CWSA already has raised some money through donations and projects like cleaning the bleachers during the county fair and is in the process of seeking grant money.

The club is "starting to really take ownership and pride (in the project)," McNeil said. "To see that is so satisfying."

But the CWSA does not exist solely to raise funds for the new park. In addition to fundraising efforts, the club also emphasizes efforts to keep the park clean and prevent bullying.

"We're not a fly-by-night organization that's just going to stop when this project is finished," McNeil said.

The club's long-term goal is to offer scholarships, he said. Looking to the future, the next step after the park is built may be the addition of a splash pad - a flat water center with no standing water - and to equip the park with garbage cans.

The skate park will be dedicated to Tyler Apodaca, who died of cancer about four years ago at the age of 25. He was involved with the original construction of the current park.

"(Apodaca) was a good BMX biker," McNeil said. "He probably would have gone pro if he hadn't gotten sick. He was well respected by the kids and the youth of the community."

Food and drink will be provided by Bar Ten, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the project. A valid ID is required for entrance to the beer garden.

Tickets are available in advance for $15 at Bar Ten, Mammoth Music, Kai Espresso, Old Town Coffee, and by calling the CWSA, at 851-6168. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for $18.

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