MINEOLA, Texas (KETK) – The Flint and Steel Coalition has begun construction on a new skatepark in Mineola as a part of an effort to help at-risk youth.

The current state of the Mineola skatepark is well-loved but worn wooden ramps and environments. This project by Flint and Steel plans to replace the skatepark with a full concrete plan, designed by middle school skaters with the assistance of industry professionals.

The Flint and Steel Coalition is a non-profit community-led organization that is focused on the educational, recreational and artistic development of community members in Mineola. Focusing on youth and young adults, programs like GRIND provide an outlet and safe space for youth. The GRIND program is specifically designed to teach middle and high school students skateboarding as well as essential life lessons.

Over $44,000 has been raised for the skatepark through crowdfunding and local grants, but an equal amount has been donated by the community in the forms of materials, labor and equipment. Flint and Steel is seeking support in finishing the final phases of the park, which includes a small shop that will provide snacks and skate equipment for community skaters.

In 2008 Pastor Demetrius Boyd, with the help of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, built a wooden skatepark so that kids in the neighborhood could avoid trouble for skating around town. Although unpopular at first, over time Mineola skaters have been able to change the perception of skateboarders, becoming a part of the community.