An Idaho charity is giving a million-dollar makeover to a skate park in downtown Boise.
The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation is donating $1.25 million for the renovation of the Rhodes Skateboard Park. The park is underneath the connector that joins I-84 to downtown Boise.
Over the summer, a group of homeless people began camping out across the street from the concrete skating area. Boise has tried repeatedly to move the campers out of the makeshift camp.
City spokesman Mike Journee says the camp had no bearing on the gift from the foundation.
“We had a great opportunity with a very generous benefactor to do something really great for the park, that in and of itself stands on its own," says Journee. "The city has been working very hard with the vulnerable populations that have been camping out in the area and doing our best to urge them to use proper shelter space when it’s available.”
One-million-dollars will go toward the skate park, $250,000 will add lighting, landscaping and public art to the surrounding neighborhood. The city of Boise will contribute more than $300,000 to the project.
“A benefactor steps forward with a gift for something like that and it’s a great thing for our community, to create a really world class amenity and to really help that region of downtown,” says Journee.
Rhodes Park was built 19 years ago for $35,000 in cash plus in-kind contributions. The makeover should be complete by mid-summer.
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