Lovell skatepark taking shape at Constitution Park

David Peck

Construction of a skate park extraordinaire is underway at Constitution Park in Lovell with a crew from Evergreen Skateparks hard at work fashioning the state-of-the-art facility.

Members of the Evergreen crew say they are pleased with the project site and scope, noting the condition of the soil and the park setting.

“The soil type is really good to work with,” said Jordan Williams, one of the project foremen working on site Tuesday afternoon. “It packs really good and takes water really good. It’s easy material to work with. It’s a cool site because, with a high water table, we’re able to dig down. Often, we have to bring in fill to build it up, which really increases the cost.

“It’s a beautiful park, a beautiful setting.”

Evergreen is a design/build company, which allows the project team flexibility with every skatepark project, Williams said, adding, “They’re all a little bit different – same album, different song.

“We start with a drawing and change stuff up as we go. In the field we change things up a little bit. Every person on the staff is a skateboarder. We’re excited to come back and use the park, so we want it to be as good as possible.”

Evergreen was founded in Portland, Oregon, but has done projects from coast to coast, many in Montana, including Red Lodge and an upcoming project in Hardin, Williams said.

The Lovell project has “everything you need” in a skate park, Williams said: a big bowl in the middle, a flow transition area and a street path.

“We pride ourselves in having something for everyone, for all skill levels,” he said.

A visit to Constitution Park reveals how the skate park is taking shape, with the park contours well underway and rebar in place for the concrete pouring to come. Williams said there will be four to six inches of concrete on top of the dirt.

With the contouring in place, there will be no surprises, Williams said, making the project cost effective.

“We see it (the course) in the dirt, so we love it,” he said, adding that the finished product will have tapering on the outside for grass to be put in place. There will also be a grassy area within the skatepark, he said.

Evergreen owner/operator Billy Coulon, who started Evergreen Skateparks with his wife, Catherine, said he is very pleased with the Lovell project.

Asked what he likes about the project, he replied, “I like the size. I like the park; it’s absolutely beautiful.

“Looking at what else is around (in terms of area skate parks) determines what direction to go,” he added, noting that the Red Lodge skatepark, which Evergreen also constructed, is smaller than the Lovell park.

“It’s designed to be applicable to everyone from the very beginning user to the expert user and everything in between,” he said. “What I like about this is that it’s nailing it.”

Like Williams, Coulon said the site is excellent.

“I really like the dirt,” he said. “It packs good and doesn’t have many rocks. The site is balanced. We’re able to put the park into the ground.”

Bairco Construction is the general contractor on the project and began site preparation in mid-August. Both Bairco co-owner Stacy Bair and engineer Charlie Cooley were on site Tuesday.

“I am so excited to see the look on the kids’ faces when they see the skate park for the first time,” Bair said. “The skatepark will be an awesome thing for generations of kids and adults. I’ve also heard buzz from the Cody and Billings skater community that they are stoked about how Lovell’s skatepark is turning out and can’t wait to travel here to try it out.”

In an earlier interview, Bair said she likes the “lunar style park” and said it should prove to be quite popular.

“It’s got a lot of flow in it with undulating hills,” she said, noting that the flow design will allow skateboarders to use their own momentum to keep moving.

Evergreen is now three weeks into the project, having started Aug. 22, Coulon said, and should wrap up the project by the end of October.

“This is our whole life, making these things,” he said. “With design/build, they get better and better. This one will be really, really good.”