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📅 Tue December 25, 2012 - Midwest Edition
Christine Reckner - CEG Associate Editor
Evergreen Skateparks, a contractor that specializes in building skateparks, out of Portland, Ore., nearly did a 360 when it heard about the Villa Community Skatepark project in Villa Park, Ill.
“I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the project for the past couple years, my grandma lived here so I’m very familiar with the area,” said Billy Coulon, co-founder of Evergreen Skateparks.
The 7,500 sq. ft. (697 sq m) concrete skatepark, designed by Grindline Skateparks, will be for inline skaters, skateboarders and BMX bikers with features for all skill levels. The park also will be handicap accessible. The site will include amenities such as a water fountain, bleachers, security cameras, garbage cans and landscaping.
“We stood out because all we do is skateparks, we do quality work and we’re all skateboarders,” added the longtime skateboarding contractor.
Evergreen Skateparks, a small, family-owned business comprised of passionate skateboarders, was awarded the bid for the project for $200,000, not including the $35,000 received in donations.
The unique concrete job has attracted the attention of many of the local, as well as global, businesses that saw the skatepark as a great way to give back to the community.
One of those is none other than the authorized Case equipment dealer in Chicagoland, McCann Industries.
“I coordinated the donation of the use of the equipment through what’s called the Villa Park Community Foundation,” said Jim McCann, vice president, sales and marketing. “Paulina [VPCF chairwoman) reached out to me and asked how we could help and knew about our access to Case quality construction equipment.”
The Villa Park community has always been “very near and dear to our heart,” according to McCann, whose father, Richard J. McCann, started the business in 1967, about a mile away from the job site, in a one car garage.
McCann donated the use of a Case CX130B excavator, Case skid steer loader, and a Case SV208 roller.
“We supply contractors with concrete forming accessories and supplies. This project is a very unique concrete job which I think is very great to be involved in,” said McCann.
“McCann was a big help with the equipment donation. We were also able to get done what we needed to. They had a really large excavator,” said Coulon, who added that he and his crew of five, not including himself and his wife, finished a week ahead of schedule as a result.
“There was a drainage portion, we had to do the retention basin at the same time,” said Coulon, adding that was another reason the excavator came in handy.
Evergeren Skatepark began work on the skatepark during the first week of November 2012 and finished on Dec. 13, 2012, in less than a month.
“Me and my wife, we worked seven days a week. I was extremely motivated to finish the job before the weather turned bad,” said Coulon.
“It’s extremely difficult to pour concrete in the snow,” he added.
Coulon first began by surveying the site, mapping it out, and then digging out “a lot of dirt,” according to Coulon, who roughly estimated about 1,000 yd. (765 m) of dirt removal, digging down to a minimum of 2 ft. (.61 m) and a maximum of 6 ft. (1.8 m) in some areas.
“We set the forms, set the gravel, compacted the gravel, tie rebar, do a rebar cage and then pour concrete,” said Coulon, who poured 220 cu. yd. (168 cu m) of concrete. “Then we clean up.”
Coulon said the job went very smoothly and that McCann, “assisted a lot, the donation didn’t cover all we needed, but since they’re also a dealership we were able to get all our other basic needs from McCann, landscape fabric, power trowels, all sorts of stuff.”
Located on the campus of the Village’s Iowa Community Center (ICC), the site was selected because of the proximity to the community center, the lack of residents surrounding the area and the high visibility from the adjacent streets. These factors will help stimulate interest in the park and enhance supervision thereby reducing vandalism.
“This project will benefit the underserved and underprivileged children in our community by providing a safe place to gather, exercise, and build self-esteem through skateboarding, freestyle BMX riding and inline skating,” said Vice President of VPCF Doc Hensley.
“I think it’s a great spot for the youth to go to. It’s a good use of the land and it’ll be there for ages and ages for generations to use,” said McCann.
Come spring installation work of a new playground, bocci and baggo courts, an educational resource (garden) area, and butterfly garden will be underway, which is slated to be completed by June or July (weather permitting).
The skate area is complete however, work still needs to be done on the landscape, and in particular spreading grass seed and allowing time for growth.
The park will hold a grand opening following its completion next year.
Summary of Donations
At the grand re-opening of the Wal-Mart store in Villa Park, store executives awarded grants to select not-for-profit organizations from Villa Park, including $4,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department for the skate park project.
Lowe’s of Carol Stream donated construction materials to the Villa Park Parks and Recreation Department to assist in building the outdoor skating facility.
“We want to thank Lowe’s for their generosity and support on this this project,” said Mikie Rudyk, program supervisor of the Villa Park Parks and Recreation Department. “What makes this project so unique is that we have numerous members of the community stepping up to donate their services and time to help make this skatepark come to life.”
The project also was brought to the attention of one of the biggest names in skateboarding history; the Tony Hawk Foundation awarded $10,000 towards its construction. The Villa Park Skateboard project was selected from hundreds of applications the foundation receives every year.
“This grant brings us one step closer to securing the funds necessary to complete this project,” said Paulina Jimenez, Villa Park Skatepark committee chairwoman.
“It also gives the Villa Park the ’stamp of approval’ from one of the most reputable foundations in the sports industry and validates that our project is a worthy endeavor.”
The Pepsi Refresh Project, a national contest where non-profit organizations and individuals submit proposals for their ideas to help build their communities, awarded Villa Park the $10,000 grant in Oct. 2011. Members of the Villa Park Skatepark Committee gathered at the 7-Eleven on Villa Ave to thank storeowner Vyomesh Desai, as well as other local business owners, for their support during the Pepsi Refresh contest. The grant money will go toward the purchase of specialty construction material still needed to build a concrete skatepark.
For more information on McCann Industries, visit http://www.mccannonline.com/about.html.
For more information on Evergreen Skateparks, visit http://evergreenskateparks.com/contact-us.
For more information on the project, call 630/834-3051 or visit vpskate.com.