A dream 14 years in the making will soon become realized thanks to the dedication of countless community members. From its inception in the early 2000s to its final planning stages, the Laurdisen Skate Park has been a community labor of love.
GPS Impact Principal Norm Sterzenbach has been one of more than 20 community members dedicated to making what will be one of the largest skate parks in the country a reality. Over the years, the committee has launched a variety of efforts to garner public support for the $3.5 million project.
During the 2018 Des Moines Arts Festival, the group invited members of the community to help paint benches made of skateboards. The finished colorful pieces of functional art will be placed in the park as a way to connect the community back to the new space. Functional art is a theme in the park, which will also include a large scale skateable sculpture.
Not only will the park add vibrancy to downtown Des Moines’ riverfront, but Sterzenbach says the Olympic-regulation course will also give central Iowa skaters a leg up when it comes to national and international competition.
“We’ll see a batch of world-class athletes coming out of the Des Moines area,” he said. “I think this park will allow these kids an opportunity to train and progress.”