The Lauridsen Skatepark now is fully funded after its namesake lead donors, Nix and Virginia Lauridsen, topped off the $6.5 million in fundraising by adding a $600,000 recent gift to the $1 million they donated to get the nation’s largest skatepark started downtown across from Wells Fargo Arena along the Des Moines River. 


Construction is well underway and will run into next spring, Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly, a key player in negotiations that spanned more than a decade, said in an interview. Leaders today announced the incorporation of a nonprofit, Skate DSM, that will help organize and run events at the facility, which is expected to draw regional and national competitions as well as offering open recreation for thousands.


Polk County is managing construction of the 88,000-square-foot skatepark, and surrounding areas, with design by California Skateparks and Snyder and Associates. McAninch Corp. is working on the site, too. Polk County Conservation plans to take over ownership of the site, Connolly said. 


Skate DSM will hold clinics on nutrition, stretching exercises and other topics. 


The final price was nearly double the original estimate, in part because a spectator park has been added to the design, including shade structures and restrooms. 


The park will feature both a skateable promenade and a skateable sculpture that will spell “Wow.”


“It’s been a long time coming,” said Connolly, who also is on the committee planning the whitewater rapids that will be a short distance away in the Des Moines River. “Shortly after I joined the committee for the skatepark, I realized that there was great momentum. People are really excited about it. A lot had to do with the youth. They embraced it and the community did, too. It’s a game-changer and a beautiful space.”

The park will feature both a skateable promenade and a skateable sculpture that will spell “Wow.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Connolly, who also is on the committee planning the whitewater rapids that will be a short distance away in the Des Moines River. “Shortly after I joined the committee for the skatepark, I realized that there was great momentum. People are really excited about it. A lot had to do with the youth. They embraced it and the community did, too. It’s a game-changer and a beautiful space.”