Key Pen youngsters will have the opportunity to try out their skateboards by the end of summer at a brand new, local skate park. Planning of the facility is well underway, and the work is expected to be complete at the end of July, weather permitting.

The conceptual design of the skate park, which will be comprised of above-ground components. Illustration courtesy KPMPD

In March, the Key Peninsula Metropolitan Park District commissioners approved a “memo of understanding” between the park district and the Zech & Adi West Memorial Foundation, the sponsor of the skate park.

The facility will be located at Volunteer Park, in an area formerly used as a tennis court and adjacent to the current tennis court.

“The design came as a result of input from local skaters. The kids are part of it,” said Chuck West, who founded the nonprofit organization in the memory of his son, Zech West, and daughter-in-law, Adrienne, after the young couple was killed in a car accident. Zech West was an avid skateboarder and advocate for a skate park on the Key Peninsula.

The foundation raised $14,000 through fund-raising efforts, and received a $100,000 grant from Pierce County. The project’s estimated cost for the skate park is $73,000, but additional costs may be involved for fixing the nearby fence, providing lighting, and a potential basketball backboard.

The plan is to pour the concrete in late June so that it is set in time for the July community fair. After the fair, the above-ground components will be installed. The foundation will gift the facility to the park district, which will take over the maintenance.

West’s initial plan was to build an in-ground skate park at the 350-acre proposed park the district had expected to own by the end of this year. However, the transfer of that property from the state has been delayed (see related story, page 8), and West said he wanted to see the project move forward. He still plans a skate park at the 350-acre property, once KPMPD gets ownership of that parcel.

The foundation, whose co-directors include West’s wife, Sharon, and friend Hugh McMillan, was “formed as a vehicle for getting grants for youth activities, not just the skateboard park,” West said. He already has some new projects in mind, including the possibility of building a new playground structure at Volunteer Park.

In the meantime, skate park organizers are looking for volunteers to help with site preparations — which will include pressure-washing the asphalt and placing the forms for the concrete — as well as several people to help pour the concrete. West had a list of volunteers previously, but his briefcase containing the list was stolen. He is asking anyone interested in helping with this and future youth projects to contact him again by calling 884-1366.

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