New Columbus bike park named after late 14-year-old boy who died in house fire

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COLUMBUS, Kan. — After months of planning and generous donations from the community, the city of Columbus is celebrating a brand new addition to Reeves Park.

Dozens gathered today for the unveiling of Ian’s Place, a state-of-the-art bike park.

The addition features an elevated tunnel, obstacle cones, a custom-made sunflower sculpture, and even musical equipment.

The project was a collaborative effort between city and community leaders to bring a safe and fun place for kids to ride their bikes in town.

Daniela Rivas, Columbus City Administrator, said, “I really hope it bring community. Columbus is an amazing, an amazing community um and we find that we lack uh places where our kids can just let loose and have fun and this is exactly what Columbus needed.”

Jan Houser, Columbus City Council Ward II, said, “I just want people to come to Columbus. It’s a great little town, it’s a wonderful place to raise children. They’re safe here, they can ride their bikes wherever and now they have a place to ride it inside of a fenced park — even more fun. So I want people to come to Columbus and enjoy what we have. We’ve got a lot of parks and a lot of things happening right now.”

The new equipment is named in honor of Ian Qualls, a 14-year-old boy who died while trying to save his family members from a 2015 house fire.

Ian was an avid skateboarder and city leaders hope the park will serve as a safe place for kids who share the same passion as he did.

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