Kids in Dubuque Skate
Key events in KIDS movement to get a new Outdoor Skate Park in Dubuque
1999 – McAleece Skate Park built at cost of $150,000 with above-ground ramps made of Skate-lite material.
Sept. 2005 – KIDS group formed and about 6-8 youth and adult supporters began discussing need for new skate park.
Spring 2006 – researched other cities in Iowa with skate parks and what they spent to build them. Dubuque spent less than any of the other major cities in eastern Iowa on skate parks.
July 2006 – KIDS sent letter and petition with over 600 signatures to Gil Spence at Park & Recreation Commission asking for support for more skate park(s) in Dubuque. Sent research numbers from other Iowa cities’ skate park expenditures and photos of damage to many ramps at McAleece Skate Park.
Oct. 16, 2006 – KIDS took petition with over 800 signatures of parents and participants to the Dubuque City Council for a better designed and more centrally-located skate park. KIDS offered help to city in planning for this. (TH article 10-19-06)
Oct. 23, 2006 –Leisure Services Manager, Gil Spence, sent letter to City Manager Van Milligen with Spence’s ideas on what parks would work/not work to put a skate park and what he budgeted for in FY2008-2012 that included skate park projects (see Oct. 30 below).
Oct. 30, 2006 – Letter from City Manager Van Milligen to Mayor and City Council members noted current city budget had: “FY 2009 – $30,000 to rebuild ramp at McAleece; FY 2010 – $183,500 to rebuild 2 tennis courts and construct small skate park at Veteran’s Memorial Park.” Leisure Service Manager Gil Spence would be requesting “$400,000 to construct a concrete skate park at Usha Park” in FY 2012 budget. This would be determined by the FY 2008 budget process held in Feb-March 2007.
Dec 2006 – KIDS sent letter to City Manager Van Milligen with more information/research on areas available in parks mentioned in letter from Gil Spence on Oct. 30, and research on skate park noise and how it is mitigated with type of construction in other skate parks around the U.S.
2007-2011 – funds budgeted Oct. 2006 for $400,000 for Usha Park skate park were scheduled to become available 2010 were pushed back to 2012 and later eliminated from the five-year capital improvement budget for July 2012-June 2017. The $183,500 for a small skate park and 2 tennis courts at Veteran’s Memorial Park, allocated in 2006, were eliminated from budget also.
Aug. 1, 2012 – KIDS sent letter to Mayor Buol and Dubuque City Council recapping history of skate park and prior budgeting and suggested budgeting from park and recreation that was eliminated from 2007-2011. KIDS asked for skate park to be moved up on priority list, citing increased demand for skate lessons through Leisure Services in 2011 as proof that the sport has potential growth in this area.
August 2012 – Leisure Services Manager, Marie Ware, notified KIDS that the Council had reviewed our WebQA correspondence and referred the skate park idea to her to create a long-range plan. Public Input Meeting was scheduled for 8/23/12 at the library.
Aug. 23, 2012 – KIDS brought about 100 people to the Public Input Meeting at the Library representing young kids, teens, adult skaters, BMX bikers, parents and others interested in the project who participated in the meeting and information gathering.
Fall 2012 – KIDS met with Marie Ware to discuss input from Public Input Meeting and offer assistance in preparing info for budget recommendation to city council. KIDS created a Skate Park survey and gathered data on location, travel to other skate parks, transportation use to get to parks, features skaters wanted in new skate park, and other amenities important to building a new skate park. Survey conducted through Reality Check, local skate shop, via hard copies.
Feb. 8, 2013 – City Manager Van Milligen provided copy of proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget including Skate Park Improvements. Noted upcoming Budget Public Hearing.
Feb. 25, 2013 – KIDS attended Budget Public Hearing Meeting including Park Division and addressed the council thanking them, Mayor Buol, City Manager Van Milligan, and Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware for including skate park improvements ($870,000) in proposed FY 2014 budget, asking that they approve it, and offering help to Park and Recreation department on development of a new skate park. City of Dubuque Capital Improvement Plan listed Skate Parks as a high priority under Goal: Partnering for a Better Dubuque.
2012-2013 – KIDS held a few fundraisers that netted about $2000. Waited for city money to become available (July 1, 2014) for FY 2014 to start skate park project.
2013-2014 – KIDS corresponded with Leisure Services Manager and Park and Recreation Department’s Steve Fehsal on status of plans to get development phase started. The FY 2014 money for $70,000 for planning of the skate park was cut by city council in Feb. 2014. The planning was then slated to come from the remaining $600,000 in the city’s skate park budget. Community still being asked to raise $200,000 in addition to the $600,000.
Aug. 5, 2014 – KIDS met with Marie Ware and Steve Fehsal to discuss status of skate park development and help get the process moving. Discussed city processes required, budget, and rough schedule.
Oct. 2014 – Skate Park Committee recommendation put together by Leisure Services for City Council approval. Two members of KIDS, Laura Bies and Ben Kahle, selected as committee members to help provide input on development of Request for Proposal and select a consultant to create bid specs for potential contractors.
May 2015 – KIDS met with Marie Ware, Leisure Services Manager, and Steve Fehsal, Park Division Manager to review status and discuss process for RFP. KIDS gave feedback on initial draft of the RFP.
June 2015 – Request for Proposal for Skate Park Evaluation and Concept Design released publicly by city to potential vendors. Proposals received by late June to city.
Aug. 17, 2015 – Pillar Design chosen as Skate Park Evaluation and Concept Design vendor by City Council.
Oct. 19, 2015 – KIDS and Leisure Services meet with Brad Siedlecki from Pillar Designs for first time.
Nov. 2015 – KIDS shared previous Skate Park Survey with city who created their own survey to post online and make available at Public Input Meetings in Nov-Dec 2015.
Nov. 9, 2015 – Public Input Meeting #1 held at Five Flags Center with developer, Pillar Designs/Brad Siedlecki, leading the discussion and gathering input on possible locations and design features wanted by public and skaters in the Dubuque community.
Nov. 23, 2015 – KIDS met with Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque to discuss fundraising and possible 501C3 designation.
Dec. 15, 2015 – Public Input Meeting #2 held at Five Flags Center with developer, Pillar Designs/Brad Siedlecki, leading the discussion.
Dec. 2015 – city notified KIDS that ITC Midwest donation of $15,000 to go to skate park project as part of $200,000 match money.
Jan. 2016 – KIDS met with Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and subsequently signed an agreement for the CFGD to be responsible for charitable gift accounting for KIDS in accordance with IRS regulations. KIDS fund established for donors to give to via the Community Foundation. Direct link to donate: https://www.dbqfoundation.org/donors-ways-give/give-now?agency=5425&foundation=1#block-giving-center-giving-center
March 10, 2016 – City hosted Public Input Meeting #1 for skate park location input at Hempstead High School. KIDS attended this meeting with approximately 25 representatives.
March 16, 2016 – City hosted Public Input Meeting #2 for skate park location input at Comiskey Park Building. KIDS attended this meeting with approximately 25 representatives.
March 23, 2016 – City hosted Public Input Meeting #3 for skate park location input at Irving Elementary School. KIDS attended this meeting with approximately 30 representatives. There were 5 sites reviewed within Flora Park at those meetings.
July 2016 – KIDS met with Leisure Services and the developer, Brad Siedlecki, from Pillar Designs at the 2 potential locations in Flora Park that city had narrowed down to after public input meetings. Gave Brad an overview of the sites and our opinion of positives and negatives of each site.
August 2016 – City decided to hold additional public input meeting on 2 specific sites at Flora Park still under consideration. Public Input Meeting held at Irving School on Aug. 31, 2016.
Sept. 29, 2016 – KIDS met with Park and Recreation Commission at Flora Park to discuss the 2 sites still under consideration.
Oct. 11, 2016 – Park and Recreation Commission approved the top site (#5) near the radio tower in Flora Park as the preferred location for the new skate park at regular meeting. KIDS attended meeting to answer questions if needed.
Oct. 2016 – present – City working with developer to identify details needed to complete a design that would work on the preferred site. Design and budget to come from Pillar Design for this site. Park and Recreation Commission will need to review and approve this before it can be sent to City Council for final approval.
Dec. 3, 2016 – Accepted a $150 check at the Olliewood Indoor Skate park for funds raised by Dubuque Area Arts Collective as part of art exhibit with skate decks.
Dec. 2016 – started bi-weekly KIDS Board meetings to organize next steps.
Dec. 2016 – kept in communication with Steve Fehsal on progress of the skate park designs.
January 2017 – met bi-weekly and developed materials for use at the Community Showcase as well as continued plans for vetting future fundraising events and opportunities.
Feb. 3, 2017 – participated in the Community Showcase at Mystique. Engaged youth and adults with skateboard balance challenge, shared the latest location info, our new logo, our history of the KIDS efforts, and encouraged community members to support the campaign to raise money for the outdoor skate park. Handed out rack cards with our contact info including our email, website, and Facebook page, to lead to donation info for our Kids in Dubuque Skate Community Foundation account (501C3).
Feb. 9, 2017 – Received final renderings of skate park design concept from Steve Fehsal at City of Dubuque.
Feb. 14, 2017 – KIDS provided feedback to city on final design renderings; most of it positive and a few questions/suggestions for changes.
Feb. 14, 2017 – Park and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the site selection at Flora Park on top by radio tower and final design renderings and recommended to city council for approval.
Feb. 20, 2017 – City Council voted to approve recommendation from Park and Recreation Commission and City Staff to approve the site selection at Flora Park and final design renderings.
April 7, 2017 – KIDS met with Marie Ware from City of Dubuque Leisure Services to to discuss what we can offer to our sponsors/donors who contribute to the fundraising for the skatepark on behalf of our organization (KIDS) and the City of Dubuque.
May 12, 2017 – KIDS met with Marie Ware from Leisure Services to discuss fundraising further. KIDS was asked to provide a proposal for naming and recognition for skatepark donors to be approved by the City Council.
May 23, 2017 – KIDS provided Naming and Recognition Proposal to Marie Ware at Leisure Services for feedback and approval before it can go to City Council for approval.
May 25, 2017 – Fundraiser: Reality Check Reunion/Auction of many signed skate decks and posters and other items which were auctioned off and all proceeds donated to Kids in Dubuque Skate for the Skatepark project by Reality Check owners. This event raised $2638 for our cause.
July 7, 2017 – Sent update to Marie Ware at Leisure Services with report of KIDS latest fundraiser and group activities. Asked again for feedback on Naming Recognition Proposal and Sponsorship packet/giving levels.
July 22-31, 2017 – KIDS received feedback from city via Marie Ware on Naming Recognition Proposal and Sponsorship packet/giving levels.
July 22, 2017 – KIDS was notified they will receive a $20,000 grant from the Grant Wood Loop/Parks to People initiative, but this is contingent upon the skate park project being under contract for construction with the City of Dubuque by June 1, 2018.
July 31, 2017 – KIDS met with Marie Ware from Leisure Services to discuss Naming Recognition Proposal
August 2, 2017 – KIDS provided final Naming Recognition Proposal/Amendment to Marie Ware to submit to City Council for approval at City Council Meeting. Council approved 8/7/17.
As of September 1, 2017, KIDS has a $15,000 grant from ITC, another grant from Grant Wood Loop/Parks to People for $20,000 with a contingency for construction contract in place by 6/1/18, and approximately $6900 from previous fundraising efforts that date back to 2015, for a total pledged thus far of $41,902. To donate, please go to kidsindubuqueskate.com or