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Kevin Jones - Owner, Subsect Skateshop

This week, Kevin Jones, the owner of Subsect Skateshop, in Des Moines publicly endorsed Carl Voss for Des Moines City Council, At-Large.

Kevin Jones, Owner of Subsect Skateshop

"I first met Carl Summer/Fall 2004 about the need for a skatepark in Des Moines," said Jones. "Carl and the AMOS group helped give us some guidance and leadership. Carl stuck with this skatepark project the whole time and it was a very bumpy road. He wanted to hear from the skaters and he would talk to us and not talk at us. I know Carl loves the city of Des Moines and wants us to to be the best city we can be."

Both Voss and Jones worked whole heartedly on the Lauridsen Skatepark project, with more than 88,000 square feet of recreational skating, which upon completion will be the largest of its' kind in the country.

The final design of the Lauridsen Skatepark in downtown Des Moines puts it at 88,000-square-feet of skate-able space. (Photo: Special to the Register)

The new skate park along the Des Moines River will now be the largest in the United States. 

The final design of the Lauridsen Skatepark puts its at 88,000 square feet of skate-able surface. It beats out the Spring Skatepark in Houston, which is 10,000 square feet smaller than plans for the park in Des Moines.

Construction on the skate park is expected to start this week, once the site is dry enough for heavy machinery. It should be open for skating this fall. 

It will be located on five acres of riverfront property just northeast of Wells Fargo Arena near Second Avenue and School Street.

Original plans for the Lauridsen Skatepark would have made it the country's second largest at 65,000 square feet, but design details related to the space and topography of the site pushed it over the edge, said Chris Hensley, co-chair of the group organizing the project.

The final design also coordinates with the Greater Des Moines Water Trails project, which would turn the Des Moines River into a recreational amenity, she said. 

"We were so close already, we said we couldn't imagine not being the largest," she said.

The skate park costs $3.5 million, which was raised through private donations. The group has decided to add $2 million of additional amenities to the park.

Amenities include a switchback trail that would give access to the park from Second Avenue. The trail would have multiple viewing points down to the skate park. 

A larger spectator park would be located along Second Avenue. 

The group plans to apply for a $1 million Community Attraction and Tourism grant through the state to help pay for the new amenities. Supporters predict the skate park will attract 40,000 skaters per year and have the capacity to host local and national skating events.

"It will clearly be a destination," Hensley said.

The remainder of the funds would be raised through private donations and possible corporate sponsors, she said.

Those additional amenities are planned for construction in 2020. 

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