The city of Black Diamond is racing to try and build a new skatepark by summer’s end.
For those not in the know, the city had to tear down the 2007-era skatepark earlier this year due to safety issues.
“In the past few years, portions of the skate park structure have been coming apart causing hazards to the skateboard park users,” city documents reads. However, the supplier of the parts and pieces needed to repair the park is no longer in business and the city has been unable to obtain replacements.
Additionally, “staff has more recently noted that the substructure is also failing; making previously simple repairs impossible in many locations,” documents continue. “With the recent failures of the skateboard structure and no reasonable way to repair the facility, the structure needs to be removed, as fencing the site has only been partially successful in protecting the public.”
Since the park was demolished, though, it appears the public has been vocal about wanting a replacement, and fast.
Mayor Carol Benson mentioned during the May 6 City Council meeting that two interested parties have approached the city offering $25,000 each.
“I have other interested parties as well,” Benson added in a later email interview. “We also have some available sources of park funds.”
Still, the city may have a long way to go before a new skatepark is funded.
“We have heard from several potential manufacturers that [the] estimate [is] between $300,000 – $600,000,” Benson continued.
With that in mind, the City Council on May 20 unanimously approved an ordinance establishing an official skatepark donation fund that the public can contribute to.
The ordinance was met enthusiastically.
“It’s not just throwing public funds at it, but it’s really everybody getting together,” said Council member Bernie O’Donnell. “That’s what community is all about, right?”
O’Donnell mentioned potentially forming an ad hoc committee to oversee the skatepark project, but Benson said she believes it would be faster to keep machinations internal, as the city is already in discussions with skatepark contractors.
As for what the park may look like, “Right now we’re planning on just replacing the skate park where it was with new, more modern structures,” Benson said. “This is a project everybody wants to get done for the public, and is really excited about it.”