Grayslake refurbishing popular Daniel Barry Memorial Skate Park
Serving as a memorial to a young man who helped spur its creation, Grayslake's skate park is about to get a makeover.
Village board trustees have approved a contract paying a maximum of $155,000 to Missouri-based American Ramp Co. to refurbish Daniel Barry Memorial Skate Park on Library Lane.
Trustee Shawn Vogel said it'll be money well spent, considering the park for skateboarders and in-line skaters draws visitors from outside Grayslake and carries Barry's name.
"I do think we have an obligation, especially since we designated it as a memorial," Vogel said Tuesday.
Grayslake's 12,000-square-foot skate park opened in August 1999. Then-teenagers Brendan Rafferty, Pat Murray, Michael Radebaugh, Nick Rother, Spencer Ford, John Clary and Barry convinced the Grayslake village board the park was worth the $100,000 expense.
Five years after opening, the popular park became a memorial to Barry. He was 20 years old in March 2004 when he was hit and killed by a van while he was riding a motorized minibike in Huntington Beach, California.
Grayslake Assistant to the Village Manager Kevin Timony said American Ramp is expected to start the project next week. He said construction should finish in two weeks, with the park opening at the end of May, weather permitting.
Timony said feedback was received from skate park users regarding the repairs. He said officials agreed with a request to keep the wooden surface, which is uncommon for suburban skate parks.
"The skate park is one of the first of its kind in the area and is one of the community's most popular amenities," Timony said. "Over the past 16 years since its opening in 1999, it has been a very popular destination for Grayslake's youth, and these repairs will help to keep this park a popular attraction for years to come."
Officials said $11,000 donated to the village will go toward the refreshing the skate park. The money came from an annual competition at the park headed by Rafferty that last year offered $2,000 in cash and prizes to skateboarders and in-line skaters.
Village Trustee Elizabeth Davies said the skate park is an important element in a busy area that includes Central Park, the village aquatic center and library.
"It adds value to the community," she said, "and we're happy to invest in it."