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PROPOSED SOUTH SIDE SKATE PARK WOULD INCLUDE ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAINING FOR YOUTH

10/9/2019, noon | Updated on 10/9/2019, noon
The Brown Memorial Park Advisory Board recently voted to approve plans to develop a skate park with accompanying space for ...
The Brown Memorial Park Advisory Board recently voted to move forward with plans to develop a skate park along with a small youth center. The project is being led by Lamon Flowers (middle), CEO of RAGE Incorporated along with the Brown Park Advisory Board. Photo Credit: Katherine Newman

Proposed South Side Skate Park Would Include Entrepreneurial Training For Youth

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

The Brown Memorial Park Advisory Board recently voted to approve plans to develop a skate park with accompanying space for retail, concessions, and learning activities at the park, 634 E. 86th St., in Chatham. The skate park is being designed by Lamar Flowers, CEO of RAGE Incorporated, who estimates that the project will cost about $1.5 million.

“I have a skateboard company and a skateboard brand called RAGE Incorporated and RAGE stands for Release Anxiety to Gain Excellence and it’s all about passion and teaching kids to believe in themselves through skateboarding,” said Flowers. “I’ve been skateboarding since I was five years old and I was born and raised here in Chicago and graduated from Harlan High School.”

Flowers has been skateboarding for almost his entire life and said that he believes skateboarding can be used to teach young people about determination, perseverance, and entrepreneurship.

“Right now, we’re looking at developing the actual skate park itself, which includes the concrete and the different transitions into the park that kids would skate. Next to the skate park, we’re also looking at creating an educational space where we could do after school programming, teach entrepreneurship, and have a hangout space and safe haven for the students to play games as well as a small concession stand for them to get drinks and things like that,” said Flowers.

The Brown Park Advisory Board will be hosting a series of community meetings for residents to ask questions and give comments about the development of the skate park in the Brown Memorial Park.

“What we intend on doing is getting as much community input as we can. We clearly have a positive take on the project but I’m sure that there are some people out there who may have a comment or see a different side of it and they are welcome to speak,” said Carl Lewis, president of the Brown Memorial Park Advisory Board.

The community meetings will be held at the Cole Park Field House, 361 E. 85th St., at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 and Nov. 18. Aside from the two community meetings, Lewis said he will also be attending regular meetings of other neighborhood organizations to share information on the project and receive feedback.

“I am going to go around to various community organizations when they have their meetings to explain what this is and explain the impact on our community, which will be tremendous. It’ll be a great economic impact on our community, particularly in that area, and we want to get that word out to as many community groups, churches, and whoever else as we can,” said Lewis.

The project will focus on fundraising for the next year and Flowers said he believes they are on track to being able to break ground on the project around this time next year.