Young residents continue to build skating facility at Columbus Park despite knowing it will eventually be torn down

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One local community is in the middle of a massive do-it-yourself project that involves building a skate park, and they hope to inspire other neighborhoods to take back their streets.

Columbus Park near 4th and Harrison in downtown Kansas City didn’t used to be a nice place for the community to hang out. But about a year and a half ago, a young resident and his friends decided to take matters into their own hands by creating their own skate park.

At first, the young residents built ramps on the street, but the city made them shut it down. So then, with the blessing of city officials, they started transforming a nearby vacant lot into their very own skate bowl.

The skateboarders raised money, applied for grants and used every dollar to buy the supplies and cement they needed to design and build concrete ramps.

A year and a half later, they continue to pour cement into new molds, and everyone young and old is coming together to help and enjoy their creation.

"We're trying to finish this to show the city how beneficial it is to have a place like this, an open space, not just a little square," skate park originator Kellin Austin said. "Having this openness and the freedom to do whatever we want brings a completely different mentality to a skate park. It's no longer just a skate park. It's an actual park."

Unfortunately a contractor plans to build on this land sometime in the next couple of years, which means the skate park will eventually be torn down.

$25,000 has already been spent on materials for the skate park and the young residents say they hope once the skate park is demolished, to build another skate park somewhere else nearby.

Kansas City officials told FOX 4 they're looking at Kessler Park in the Old Northeast part of town as a possible location for a new skate park,  but discussions are in the preliminary stages.

Keelin says they will continue to enjoy their do-it-yourself creation until the day the wrecking ball arrives.


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