Skaters from Lawrence and beyond celebrate new vert ramp at Centennial Park

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Corey Lawrence would have loved the vert ramp built in his honor at Centennial Park, several attendees at the ramp’s dedication on Saturday agreed.

Lawrence, from the Kansas City area, died in May 2021 after suffering injuries from a fall while skateboarding in Florida.

Justin Shiney, of River Rat Print and Skate; Sean Ingram, of Merchtable; Dan Askew, of Escapist Skateboarding; and members of the Lawrence Skate Association raised funds and worked with the city to make the ramp in Lawrence’s honor a reality.

The new half pipe is the only one of its kind within a 500-mile radius, project organizers have said.

Shiney said early into the planning process that the half pipe would be a good start to an expansion of the skate park at Centennial, and it would further Lawrence’s dream that vert skateboarding could be easily accessible to future generations.

“It’s hard to find access to these kinds of ramps,” Shiney said last year. “It’s a beautiful thing to watch. Kids get so good so fast when they’re young.”

At the ribbon cutting Saturday was 9-year-old Keegan Fuentes, who proved Shiney’s point, fearlessly skating the ramp’s steep slopes. Fuentes’ father said they didn’t know Lawrence personally, but they “felt called to come here” from Denver for the dedication.

Centennial Park is between Sixth and Ninth streets and Rockledge Road and Iowa Street. The skate park is on the west side, near Rockledge Road.

August Rudisell/Lawrence Times Keegan Fuentes, 9, of Denver
August Rudisell/Lawrence Times Corey Lawrence’s parents, Bill and Jackie Lawrence, join Lawrence Vice Mayor Bart Littlejohn to cut the ribbon on the vert ramp in their son’s memory, May 6, 2023.
August Rudisell/Lawrence Times Corey Lawrence’s memory was celebrated with numerous photos at the vert ramp dedication.
August Rudisell/Lawrence Times BMX rider Dennis McCoy reaches ridiculous heights while riding the Corey Lawrence vert ramp.
August Rudisell/Lawrence Times Pro skater Darren Navarrette tries the new vert ramp.

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