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Specialists putting skills to work on new skate park

September 3, 2012
By JACKIE STARK - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - A team of skate park specializes is in Marquette constructing the finer points of the new skate park at the corner of Pine Street and Fair Avenue.

That work should be completed in less than a month, according to Anthony Zavala, who is heading the four-man Spohn Ranch crew working on the installation of the park's features.

Spohn Ranch is a California based company that specializes in designing and creating skate parks.

Article Photos

A four-man crew from California-based Spohn Ranch work on one of the many features that will be in a new skate plaza in Marquette on the corner of Pine Street and Fair Avenue. Spohn Ranch is a company that specializes in building skate parks. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)

The crew is comprised of men from across the country who spend the majority of their year traveling America and building skate parks.

"We basically live on the move nine months out of the year just building skate parks," Zavala said.

Marquette's park, which has been in the planning stage for roughly the past seven years, will feature three different levels, according to Zavala, and will have a number of features for skateboarders to enjoy. Everything from grind ledges to hipped quarter pipes will be built by Spohn Ranch.

"Most kids who do go out and skate the streets use rail ledges, park benches," Zavala said "We embrace that. It's a skate park and it's designed and built with all that stuff."

In 2006, the Marquette City Commission committed funds, based on a one-to-two matching ratio, of up to $75,000 for the skate plaza project. Under the agreement, the skate plaza committee must raise at least $150,000 to get the full amount from the city. Once the plaza is completed the city will take over ownership and maintain it.

Skate plaza committee member Nheena Weyer Ittner said in the past that the estimated total cost of the project is $233,000, but she said the group had managed to raise enough additional funds to create a bit of a financial buffer.

Much of the preliminary work on the skate park was done by local subcontractors, who have made in-kind donations of time and materials.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is



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