If all goes as planned, the city’s first skatepark will open at La Colonia Park in about a year.
Council members at the April 25 meeting awarded the construction contract to California Skateparks, whose approximately $940,000 bid was the lowest of five received.
The estimated $1.1 million project will include skateboarding areas, a small full-court basketball area and an EnergiPlant, a free-standing nanogrid that will provide Wi-Fi, USB ports for charging phones and internet access, additional seating and possibly security cameras.
The design also features a donor wall with 3-by-6-inch clear glass subway tiles installed in the shape of a wave.
The tiles, which will accommodate up to three lines of text, will recognize individuals or businesses that contribute $500 or more. The initial wall can hold 50 tiles, although more can be added if necessary.
Through fundraising efforts, donations, a grant and undesignated capital improvement project reserves, the city can fully fund the project except for the anticipated $25,000 from tile sales.
When that money comes in it will replenish the capital improvement fund, City Manager Greg Wade said.
Councilman Dave Zito said last year Solana Beach had a “fairly substantial surplus,” so he and his colleagues allocated $500,000 into the CIP fund for potential projects such as the long-planned skatepark.
Council members had discussed naming rights for a large donor. Wade said some interest had been expressed but not at a substantially high enough level to warrant such action.
A two-phase plan to upgrade La Colonia Community Center and Park approved in 2008 included a skatepark. 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 skateparks 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, according to the designers.
PUB Construction Inc., which submitted a $1.2 million bid, protested the award in a letter dated April 6 that noted California Skateparks and SITE Design are owned by the same person, thereby giving California Skateparks an advantage over other bidders.
City Engineer Mo Sammak acknowledged the companies are owned by the same person, but “based on the evidence reviewed … City staff has not identified a basis on which to disqualify” the company.
Construction is expected to begin next month and take about nine months to complete.
Councilman Peter Zahn said awarding the construction contract “makes a great deal of sense.”
“It’s been thoroughly vetted, it looks like, in terms of the bid,” he said. “Relatively, it looks reasonable. It sounds like the funds are all lined up, which is good.
“I’m hopeful there will be great sales of the tiles and continued success with the fundraising effort,” he added.