By Melanie Williamson
At the Tuesday, December 19, parks board meeting, Reed Hettel provided the board members with a proposal for an improvement project for the current skate park while they work towards building a permanent concrete skate park.
The proposal is to review all the existing features to inspect for damage and or repositioning, recycle any damaged features, and suggest resurfacing the park near any permanently installed features (rails, bars), and installation of a “mini-ramp” feature. He said they are looking at a 24 feet wide x 4 feet tall (16ft) and x 5 feet tall (8ft), 32 feet long from railing to railing which would be put in the current skate park location.
The original quote was for $9,233.94 which includes 35 sheets resurfacing the current skate park, and also included $455 for screws. He said the Gatorskins Outdoor Grade skateboard ramp engineered surface material was going to cost the city around $9,000 plus, and they were able to get those costs down to $3,518.33. He was able to get a discount since it was a community project, so they were able to get each sheet for $109 as opposed to the $256 they were charging before. He said there is Diamond Grind Coping they would use which is durable and reusable for skateboards, scooters, roller-skates, and BMX users. The ramp would be designed to take a beating. He said they included labor costs of $2,000 for the project. Currently, they are well under the $10,000 with building a new and stronger surface with better materials.
Dan Overfield of the skate park committee spoke on the current condition of the park and addressed the mini ramp proposal. He said that he and Hettel are willing to donate their labor in helping Smillie Carpentry build this mini ramp. The contractor is familiar with building codes and the structure will be safe. He has received quotes from Lowes for materials, but he is also getting information from them on a possible grant for the skate park project. He also suggested that the current skate park upgrade may be a great opportunity to get student volunteers from the high school involved.
After concerns regarding noise were brought up, both Hettel and Overfield shared there are ways to help buffer the noise coming from the ramp they plan to install. Board member Elizabeth Wakefield asked what their timeframe was on the mini-ramp. Hettel said they are thinking around March, and it would take around 3-4 days to complete.
Hettle also stated that they would be able to scrap about 50 percent of the obstacles that are currently there, and the proceeds can go towards the new skate park fund.
Wakefield voiced concerns with keeping the current skate park open until the work is done. She thought it should be closed since there are big holes in the ramps. Hettel said he would agree with this decision adding that he has been there several times and the condition of several of the ramps are dangerous. The board said it would merely be closed temporarily for renovations until the spring.
The board voted to approve an amount not to exceed $10,000 for the construction of a “mini-ramp” at the current skate park and to close the skate park until the proposed improvements could be made.