Skatepark of Baltimore reaches fundraising goal for skateboard facility in Hampden

Skatepark of Baltimore, Inc., the nonprofit group that has been raising money to build a facility in Hampden for skateboarders, has raised more than the $75,000 it needed to qualify for a promised matching grant from the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.

Stephanie Murdock, president of the organization's board, made the announcement Friday, seven years after she founded Skatepark of Baltimore

The skatepark, to be located in Roosevelt Park at Falls Road and West 36th Street, would be the first concrete skatepark within the city limits, Murdock said.

"We will use about $150,000 to fund construction of the first phase of the skatepark," construction of a 3,600-square-foot concrete bowl, she said. "The first phase is designed to be functional upon completion and open to the public, so the community will be able to enjoy the park while we continue our fundraising efforts for the additional phases."

Ultimately, she hopes to also build a $350,000 "street course" with a plaza next to the skateboarding bowl, Murdock said last month.

Getting the matching grant was touch and go for Murdock. In mid-May, she was short $17,000 with a deadline of May 31 before the city's grant offer expired.

But at last month's merchants meeting, she raised at least $2,200 more, both from the merchants and from representatives of Visit Baltimore, the city's quasi-public tourism and marketing agency.

The merchants association voted unanimously to give her a $1,000 donation. Representatives of Visit Baltimore, the city's quasi-public marketing and tourism, happened to be attending the merchants' meeting — and they too pledged $1,000 for the skateboarding park.

In 2010, she won an 18-month, $50,000 fellowship from the Open Society Institute of Baltimore, a philanthropic organization, to get the skatepark built.

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