STRASBURG - It doesn’t have to be extravagant. If it’s built, they will come.
That’s the direction the Tribute to Trent Williams Skatepark is now taking to make a several-years-long dream come to fruition.
“This is meant to be for scooters, and bikes and all things,” said Jennifer Williams, Trent’s mother. "We don't want it just specifically about skateboarding."
Trent Williams was 8-years-old when he died of cancer on July 29, 2012. He didn’t skateboard but rode a scooter and his older brother, Caden, had picked up skateboarding.
Former town police chief Tim Sutherly helped start the idea for it, along with Trent's mother.
The committee of a handful of people, including Mayor Brandy Boies, have been meeting regularly and holding fundraisers to pay for the skatepark, estimated in 2019 to cost $150,000.
The committee has raised $40,000, primarily through selling hot dogs and other concessions.
“We just need help” Boise said, of keeping the project going.
On Wednesday, the committee met at the town park for anyone who was interested in the project.
Wyatt Vaught, a Strasburg resident who skateboards, explained to the group he’s visited skateparks at other localities that may have lavish features, but still fall short of the enjoyment that could come from skating there.
Other parks have 15-foot “bowls” that skaters can drop into, but that takes some advanced skills to enjoy, said one Strasburg resident attendee, who declined to give his name.
“A lot of people are in your way,” said Tyson Bragg, 9, the attendee's son, in reference to people standing around another park with additional features.
Strasburg could simply put a slab of concrete down and allow skaters to bring their own skating rails and ramps, Vaught explained. He designed a quick concept involving one ramp on each end of the concrete and a grinding rail and box in the middle.
“You could literally put one rail, one box and be done, and just say ‘more coming soon’” Vought said. “And people would come here…”
With $40,000, Vaught said he could build a better setup than what he has designed in his backyard at the moment. But for the park to be on public land, grading to allow for drainage and a higher standard of finished product will take a little more work, Vaught said.
“This is intermediate,” Vaught said of the scope of his plan.
With the park being on public land, the committee also discussed insurance and liability coverage for it. Boies said she would research what the town’s policy might be.
A smaller scale park creates less risk, Vaught said. Fewer restrictions, such as not requiring a helmet, may inhibit the ability to receive state insurance coverage, but will also draw more users, Vaught said.
The park is approved the town’s Master Park Plan for siting in the town park to the west of the main entrance.
Councilman John Massoud, who was present for the meeting, voiced support for the project, while explaining previous council members didn't support the project over fear of insurance requirements.
The committee discussed reaching out to companies willing to donate labor hours or contribute in other ways to building the park.
The park has been discussed at recent town meetings as a place for kids to skate and ride bikes and scooters, rather than on the town’s narrow, busy streets.
A Facebook page called “A Tribute to Trent Williams Skate Park” lists more information, including ways to donate to the cause.
"If you do it right, Strasburg will be one of those points of interest to travel to," Vaught said.