ST. LOUIS – Taking stock of what’s still standing. Members of the skate community moved forward with an engineering assessment of the burned out remains of an old Catholic church turned skate park.
On June 28, a fire in the rectory kitchen at the former St. Liborius Church spread embers to the roof, causing extensive damage to the St. Louis Place neighborhood landmark.
“Last year, we put a whole new roof on the tower there, and it took a long time for that to burn off,” said Bryan Bedwell, co-founder of SK8 Liborius.
This community of artists and skateboarders that make up the Liborius Urban Art Studios say their nonprofit wants to try and save what they’ve built.
“We hired a company—an SSC engineering and architectural firm,” Bedwell said. “Also working with B3 Studios, another architectural firm here in St. Louis, and they’re trying to help us assess what we can save and keep. We have to find out the way to go from here and we have to have a starting place. They’re going to help us find that starting place.”
The nonprofit will host a Halloween fundraiser at St. Louis Skatium. Before that, they’ll be at Music at the Intersection, selling t-shirts and bricks from the old church to help rebuild.
Chris Grindz, an LUAS board member and skateboarder, hopes the engineers and architects bring good news.
“I’m pretty sure if it’s structurally sound enough for us to build a shell around the bricks, we should be able to make something pretty tight,” Grindz said.