Lebanon committee works toward skate park dream

EUGENE, Ore. -- Just days after the grand opening of Eugene's Washington-Jefferson Skate Park, boarders in Lebanon started making moves to build a park of their own.

While their plans might not be as big as the W-J Skate Park, volunteers said they hope to convert some of the deteriorating wood ramps with concrete.

Drew Breise is spearheading the Lebanon Skate Park Comittee, saying that the project has been about 10 years in the making.

"If a kid doesn't play any type of high school or middle school sports, they want to skateboard. They're doing it out in front of you parent's house or you have to go do it illegally on somebody else's property where there is a liability," said Briese.

He said he used to be one of those kids that would skate handrails, benches, and sidewalks.

Now he's pushing for a fun, legal spot for skaters to ride.

"This is the temporary slab that we built, mainly to get the community to see that we are here and we're ready to go. And it gave the kids something for now," said Briese.

The current park only features two small quarter-pipes, a funbox and a few homemade rails.

Skaters and their parents worked to remove trees and fix ramps on the park's acre plot just north of the justice center on Harrison Street. The land was donated by the City of Lebanon.

When the weather is nice, Briese aids about 15 to 20 skaters crowd the park.

"When we get fifteen kids on here, they start running in to each other, it's just way too tight," he said.

Briese and others on the Lebanon Skate Park Committee are looking to mimic the best places to skate in town, into the new park's design.

If they ditch cement bowls, Briese said a plaza-style park featuring stair sets and rails will drop costs nearly $200,000 and keep the first phase of construction to about $60,000.

The committee has about $19,000 in the bank.

"A lot of input from the kids, too. Once they see this first drawing of the design, watching they're eyes light up. It makes do that much more to keep going with it," said Briese.

Drew Briese said the committee is currently in the fundraising stages, but would like to break ground with park additions in late summer.