Skate park plans ramping up in Solana Beach

Skate park plans ramping up in Solana Beach
Construction of a proposed skate park at La Colonia Park could begin as early as June 1, 2018. Courtesy rendering

SOLANA BEACH — If all goes as planned, halfcabs, backside flips and ollies will be regular occurrences at La Colonia Park in a little more than a year after council members at the Dec. 13 meeting unanimously approved a handful of design elements and authorized staff to advertise for construction bids for the city’s first skate park.

Concept plans presented in September included the skateboard park, a regulation half-court basketball area and other associated site improvements.

Council members supported the overall plans but asked staff to look into converting the existing half basketball court into a mini-full court and adding more color to the skate park.

Additionally, according to environmental studies completed since then, some noise mitigation will be required along the northern property line by either moving the skate area about 10 feet into the existing turf or adding a wall.

Because community members frequently use the grass for soccer, staff opted for the latter, which increases the final estimated cost by about $200,000, to $821,000.

Some of the ramps will be blue, to go with a wave theme, and earth tones and terracotta pavers will be used so the project’s color scheme is consistent with the recently completed Veterans Honor Courtyard.

The 2 ½-foot sound wall and mini-full basketball court, oriented east to west, will be included in the request for proposals.

Council members asked for more information on an EnergiPlant, a free-standing nanogrid that would primarily provide Wi-Fi and USB ports for charging phones and internet access.

The devices, which cost approximately $16,000, could also include security cameras, LED lighting and additional seating.

“It’s a pretty cool-looking structure,” City Engineer Mo Sammak said.

The city has committed $515,000 to the project. The Tony Hawk Foundation, Solana Beach Sunset Run, Surfing Madonna Beach Run and Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society have donated a total of $28,000.

Various fundraisers have brought in $12,000. The county recently awarded the city $100,000 for the skate park from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, leaving a funding gap of about $166,000.

According to the proposed timeline, construction bids will be advertised Feb. 15, 2018, with a contract awarded April 11, 2018. Construction would start June 1, 2018, and take about nine months to complete.

A two-phase plan to upgrade La Colonia Community Center and Park approved in 2008 included a skate park. But the entire project stalled when the funding source was eliminated by Gov. Jerry Brown.

A few years ago a group of residents successfully lobbied the city to complete another planned element — an honor courtyard for veterans — separately from the major project.

Skateboarders followed suit. SITE Design, which has designed skate parks worldwide, held two workshops that allowed skaters to design their ideal park. Based on their input, the park will include elements such as a bowl pocket, three-stair set with rails, China bank, stamped-brick quarter-pipe, pole jam and four-stair set with “Hubba” ledges.

The linear, plaza-style nature will allow for greater use by all-level skaters. There will also be a donor recognition wall with names engraved on plaques resembling skateboards.

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