Simplified: A new $2 million skate park will start taking shape at Nelson Park in the spring with plans to be fully completed in another year. Here's an updated look at the design from the Sioux Falls Skatepark Association.

Why it matters

  • The skate park is a project that's been on Executive Director Walter Portz' radar for years now. Having grown up in the city, he was surprised that Sioux Falls still didn't have a nice skating area.
  • The Sioux Falls Skatepark Association raised about $1.7 million on their own and received $800,000 from the city to build the skatepark.
  • Portz said having a skate park will be an opportunity for children that otherwise don't have access to sports because of transportation or money.
"The biggest reason for me to be involved in building this park is to provide opportunities for kids in the neighborhoods I grew up in, around Whittier and Hilltop and Riverside, and providing them with opportunities because I see what kids are going through," Portz said.

What will the park look like?

The park is broken into a few separate areas for different skateboarding tricks.

  • Two bowls, which look like empty pools, are made for skaters to move around in freely and fly out of to do tricks.
  • A large part of the park is a skate plaza with hand rails, ledges and stairs made of concrete and steel.
  • There's also some seating and other green space to make the area blend in with the rest of Nelson Park.
"Just the general overall aesthetics of the park are pretty amazing," Portz said.

Tell me more about the Sioux Falls Skatepark Association

The nonprofit was started six years ago when Portz saw a growing need to support children in the area through skateboarding.

  • Portz visited a friend in Eugene, Oregon, where they had a new skatepark built under an overpass. Portz said he was surprised that Sioux Falls didn't have something as nice as that park.
  • After talking to some other skaters in Sioux Falls, the nonprofit was started and the team started having conversations with the parks department. Fundraising followed suit.

What's next?

The current design will be reviewed in one more public input session this November for last minute changes, but the overall structure of the park will match the current design.

  • The design will then be put up for bid for different construction companies. Once the company is chosen, construction can begin in the spring of 2023, and then Portz said the park could be ready by that fall.
"Skateboarding is a community-building activity," Portz said. "It's nothing like a traditional sport where you have teams. It's, it's more free flowing than that.And so the community is allowed to foster all different types of individuals who have different interests and different ways of skateboarding."