Hodag Park likely site of proposed skate park
Though this is just a temporary skate park at Hodag Park, the city of Rhinelander is issuing requests for qualifications seeking a project designer for a park to be located at Hodag Park permanently. Star Journal photo
By Eileen Persike
RHINELANDER – City administrator Patrick Reagan announced at the Rhinelander Common Council meeting Oct. 9 a request for qualifications will be reissued for a Rhinelander skate park. The RFQ will go out to interested firms for design services that include conceptual planning, design development and construction documents. In providing an update to council, Reagan said there appeared to be a “disconnect” between former public works director Randy Myrum and the skate park group over where the park should be located.
Instead of the original suggested site of Pioneer Park, the group, which includes individuals from city council, Over It skate board organization, ArtStart and others, is now suggesting Hodag Park, on either side of the beach house. It is because of the new location that the RFQ was reissued. Parks Director Jeremy Biolo told the council the skate park could be on one side, but could also be designed as two separate areas. Biolo said skate parks today are not slabs of concrete, but include green areas.
“There’s going to be a lot of green space, a lot of skate parks are like flow parks, and there will be trails throughout the system,” Biolo said. “So that’s kind of why there’s two areas there as well. You could do a little flow trail, or pump track they’re called, in one area and have a bunch of green space in the middle and then a bowl and a couple ramps in the other area. So just because we’re showing two big spaces doesn’t mean we’re just filling those spaces up.”
Alder Carrie Mikalauski reminded council Rhinelander was one of 18 cities chosen to participate in the One Nation One Project national arts and health initiative and the skate park is the city’s big project. The unveiling of projects across the country takes place July 27, 2024.
“We realize because of all the hiccups that have occurred, the skate park more than likely is not going to be completed by that date, but we still have a goal to have a lot of it – the design and at least part of the fundraising – complete by that date,” said Mikalauski. “So we want it done and we’re working really hard to get there so it’s not like we keep kicking the can down the road but it just seems like we keep getting these hiccups that kind of delay things.
“I assure you the group is working very hard on getting this completed and the kids from Over It are right alongside us as a stakeholder in this group; there a group of community members, also, that are skateboarders that are part of this group so we are definitely doing everything we can t speed this process up.”
According to the RFQ Reagan provided to council, the skate park’s size will be an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 square feet and the budget is estimated at $500,000 to $750,000. Proposals are due to Reagan by Friday, Nov. 10.