Skatepark vandalism leads to reduced bathroom access
Ongoing vandalism at Lauridsen Skatepark has resulted in its restrooms being closed daily at 7pm, Polk County Conservation outreach supervisor Jessica Lown tells Axios.
State of play: Vandals smashed toilets and pulled sinks off walls, causing thousands of dollars in damage to the free, public park in late April.
- The incident followed a string of others that were similar in nature but not as damaging.
What's happening: Restrooms are now only open from 7am-7pm, cutting their operation during less busy times when vandalism is more likely to occur.
- The park's hours are 6am-10:30pm.
Flashback: Community organizers spent nearly 20 years advocating for the park and helped raise $7 million from governments, grants and charitable contributions to build it.
- It opened in 2021 as the largest outdoor skatepark in the U.S. and has hosted Olympic qualifying events.
What they're saying: Many of the park's regular patrons are angry about the vandalism and some are helping identify possible suspects, Norm Sterzenbach, president of Skate DSM, tells Axios.
- Video footage of a live feed of the park is being analyzed, he says.
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