Work on Brookings first professionally-built skate park has begun and officials expect it to be completed before Christmas.

Its exciting to see things actually happening in the ground, said City Manger Leroy Blodgett.

On Tuesday, Brookings city workers were finishing digging a deep hole into a hillside at Bud Cross Park.

Meanwhile, members of Dreamland Skate Park Design Team, hired by the city to build the park, were cutting lumber into forms that will be used for pouring concrete.

The owner of Dreamland, Mark Scott, and one employee arrived Monday to begin work. The rest of the crew is scheduled to arrive in a month or so to do the heavy design and construction work.

Concrete used to build the bowls, dips and jumps of the park will be poured at different elevations during the next few weeks, Blodgett said.

If all goes well, he said, the skate park should be done by Dec. 1.

It could be as late as Dec. 15, but thats only if the weather really messes things up, he said.

Blodgett said the city will hold a grand opening celebration shortly after Jan. 1. Several city employees may even don helmets and try the park themselves, he said.

The skate park is a dream come true for Russ Johnson, chairman of the Brookings Skate Park Committee. He has been pushing for a skate park in Brookings for five years.

I said I wouldnt believe it until I saw a hole in the ground, and now theres a hole in the ground, Johnson said.

The 6,000-square-foot skate park will cost $120,000. Donations from the Brookings-Harbor Rotary Club and private citizens made up the initial $10,000 collected by the committee.

Two anonymous donations one for $10,000, another for $100,000 filled in the gap this summer and made the park a reality.

The city was hoping to have the skate park completed by August, but Dreamland had a prior commitment to build a skate park in another country.

Dreamland has been building parks for 11 years and has received rave reviews from skateboard magazines and the cities where the firm has built parks.