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Volunteers installing new skate park in downtown Rockford

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — This weekend, Davis Park will look a bit different, as volunteers from Rockford Sharefest construct a new skate park.

Rockford’s growing skating community will be getting some space of their own, partially due to filmmaker Bing Liu’s Best Documentary nominated film “Minding the Gap.”

“This is something people have wanted for decades,” said Eric Neubauer, owner of Ground Floor Skateboards, at 333 E State Street.

Rockford Sharefest volunteers are hard at work giving Davis Park a makeover. The organization plans, develops and implements community projects each year.

“There will be five features and it’s probably going to be somewhere between 60 by 80 feet,” said Sharefest Site Leader, Joe Vettore.

The skate park will include a half pipe and a quarter pipe for skaters to hone their skills, and will incorporate the standing gazebo, which skaters already use.

Neubauer says “Minding the Gap” gave city officials a new mentality, to give the skaters what they’ve been asking for.

“This was always [Bing Liu’s] dream, I mean, since I’ve known him, since he started skateboarding,” he said. “It’s one of those things where he really opened people’s eyes.”

While there are other skate parks in the area, this will give enthusiasts another option, close to downtown.

“Davis Park is in the middle of our city, underutilized. It just needed a little bit of TLC, so it’s just a perfect opportunity,” Vettore said.

“I like the idea of it,” Neubauer said. “We’re using an old space. It’s kind of, with the revitalization of the hotel, we’re just bringing life back to this park, that’s unfortunately [been] ignored for far too long.”

Construction on the skate park is expected to be completed by Saturday night.

Sharefest is still looking for volunteers.

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