Skate park completes transformation

Published 6:35 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

Just two years ago, there wasn’t much to look at on the end of Main Street in LaGrange.

The Westbrook Service and Tire building was no longer being used and although there was a lot of open space to use, nothing was being done in the area.

It’s almost hard to believe that 24 months later that entire area has been completely transformed.

The transformation started with Wild Leap Brew Co. renovating the Westbrook building. The brewery was recently named the best new brewery in the United States and held its second annual Grilled Cheese Showdown Saturday, which brought in around 1,500 people.

While the grilled cheese event went on, just a few hundred feet away the City of LaGrange was officially opening its brand-new skate park. After the ceremony, hundreds of people, including a few pros, skated up ramps and ground down rails. Many of the people at Wild Leap walked over to watch.

The skatepark is part of the brand new Southbend Park, which includes a pavilion, dog park and large playground area. The park has been packed since it opened a few weeks ago.  A lot of credit should go to the Callaway Foundation, which had a hand in both the Southbend Park and Wild Leap renovation. City officials have been hearing from skateboarders for years and worked hard to come up with a solution. Based on Saturday’s turnout, it was clear that skateboarders in the city and surrounding area approve of the new park. 

All of these renovations are so new that if you look up the area on Google Earth, Wild Leap is still being constructed and none of the ground is broken on the skatepark or Southbend Park.

Yet, here we are, a few years later, with a completely revitalized appearance to the south end of LaGrange’s downtown.

This change took time and planning, and it isn’t something we should take for granted. All of the groups involved in these major changes should