PERU – Steve Anderson has been saying for a while now that Peru needs a skate park. Thanks to his relentless fundraising efforts over the last seven months, the city is getting one.
Construction on a new 12,000-square-foot skate park got underway Tuesday after Peru City Council Monday approved $30,000 for the project.
The new park is being built on a 14,000-square-foot piece of property along the Peru Riverwalk on Canal Street near the Miami Sport playground.
It should be complete in June, and will be open to skateboards, bicycles, roller blades and scooters.
It was Anderson, a local resident and union carpenter, who first decided to develop a skate park in the city.
He said his 13-year-old son has been skating for six years, and he wanted a place to go in town.
In September, he talked the Peru Parks Department into donating the land for the project. Then he started making the rounds to city and county meetings, talking with officials and local investors about funding the park.
Anderson at first drummed up $7,000 in cash donations from various sources. Then he landed $15,000 each from Ken Licklider, owner of Vohne Liche Kennels near Denver, and local investor Dave Van Baalen.
Local contractors and businesses also pledged $70,000 in-kind donations, offering their labor and services for free.
Hunger Skateparks, a Bloomington-based company, ended up designing the park, and agreed to lead up construction at a hugely reduced price, Anderson said.
Then the city jumped on board, approving $30,000 for the project during Monday’s council meeting.
Add it all up, and Anderson said it was enough to get the park up and running.
Sailor Excavating LLC, based in Peru, was on site Tuesday to begin grading land and removing sod.
“I’m ready to get started,” Anderson said Tuesday in a phone interview.