Goshen News, Goshen, IN

State News

February 11, 2014

Teen uses Eagle Scout project to build skate park

WINAMAC, Ind. (AP) — Clark Gudas was skateboarding with a friend one day when he decided Winamac needed a skate park.

And he decided he'd be the one to make it happen.

The skate park is Gudas' Eagle Scout project. Gudas, a junior at Winamac High School with Boy Scout Troop 229, spoke with his family to figure out what it would take to accomplish. The ball really started rolling in December 2011 after the town council approved the skate park project.

The Winamac Skatepark, which will be open to the public, has so far been well received. The skate park will be built at Rhinehart Park in Winamac next to the YMCA.

"It gives people a place to have fun and it's a way to get more people interested," Gudas told the Pharos-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1bRzI9Z ).

Skateboarders, BMX bikers, roller skaters and inline skaters will be all have access to the park.

Thus far, $30,000 has been raised by going door-to-door and asking for donations, applying for grants and asking some companies for sponsorships. That's more than half the overall project's goal of $50,000.

Gudas is waiting to hear back from a few grants, including the Tony Hawk Foundation skate park grant.

Another part of the project involves coming up with a design. Gudas said the final budget will decide the design.

The $50,000 project Gudas would like to see built is a concrete pad with different structures such as ramps and a half-pipe. The concrete would be constructed by a local company with the help of volunteers.

"We have a good idea of what we want to do, but it's all subject to change if we don't raise the total amount," Gudas said.

And he's only got until this summer to decide. To become an Eagle Scout, Gudas must complete a project that benefits the entire community before he turns 18 in July.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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