Skatepark design contract approved by Solana Beach council

Victor Ramirez works on a wall at the veterans memorial in May at La Colonia Park in Solana Beach, where the city also plans to build a skatepark.

A long-planned skatepark in La Colonia Park moved a step closer to reality as the Solana Beach City Council approved spending $91,000 on final design work for the project.

The decision was made on a 5-0 vote at the council meeting on Wednesday, March 22.

The two outside firms hired to design the skatepark - Van Dyke Landscape Architects and Site Design Group - will be updating and finalizing a park master plan first created in 2010. In the coming weeks, the consultants will hold two public workshops to gather public comment on the skatepark plans, meetings that will likely be held at La Colonia Park.

“It’s an evolving sport, we want to make sure the skatepark is state of the art and meets the current needs of our community,” City Manager Greg Wade told the council.

The money for the design work will come from an allocation of $300,000 that the council earmarked for the skatepark project in December.

The design contract does not cover any construction costs for the skatepark. A city staff report said the actual cost of building the skatepark will be determined once the design is complete and put out to bid to construction companies.

Supplementing the city’s contribution to the skatepark project is fundraising by local community groups.

Linda Swindell, who sits on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, also is a member of a committee formed to raise money for the skatepark.

She said the group has raised about $10,000 so far, including a donation from the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Kick-off and fundraising events were held for the skatepark last fall, and more events are planned in the coming months, said Swindell.

The skatepark is needed so that parents don’t have to drive their children to parks in other communities, and local children have a safe place to hang out and enjoy the sport of skateboarding, she said.

Through her own research, said Swindell, she estimates that the skatepark and related infrastructure will cost roughly $500,000 to $550,000, meaning that supporters may have to raise up to $250,000 to complete the project.

But between the city and the community, she said, the project can be built.

“Now is the time, our city is (financially) healthy,” she said. “This makes sense, it would definitely serve the community.”

The design contract will also include plans for other amenities on the north end of La Colonia Park, Wade told the council, such as relocation of a basketball court.

A veterans honor courtyard was completed at the park last year.

At the March 22 council meeting, Mayor Mike Nichols asked if it would be possible to break ground on construction of the skatepark this year, and got a positive response. Swindell said she, too, is hopeful to see the project move forward in 2017.

Her group is seeking donations and will raise funds for the project by selling commemorative tiles, T-shirts and other items. They are planning fundraising events and will have a booth at Fiesta del Sol on the weekend of May 20-21.

People with ties to the skating community, including companies involved in the industry, are supporting the fundraising effort, which has provided a boost, said Swindell.

“We’re getting started and we’re already in motion, it’s all concurrently happening,” she said. “The council is in support, they want it fast-tracked and ground broken in 2017.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, representatives of the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society presented a $2,000 donation toward the skatepark project.

A special fund has been set up to receive donations for the skatepark project at the Coastal Community Foundation. Tax-deductible donations to the project can be made at https://coastalfoundation.org/programs/solana-beach-skatepark-fund/.

Swindell said a local project supporter, Jason Estudillo, has also set up a site for donations at https://www.gofundme.com/solana-beach-skate-park.


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