Skate Park Changes

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Two bowls, which are types of courses within the skate park, may be removed from the original plan to cut down on the cost since bids from the construction company exceeded the budget amount.

"The bids came in about $135,000 over budget. We we're budgeting for a 25,000 square foot facility and figured it would be about $30 to $32 a square foot. I guess because of construction inflation costs, it came in over $38 a square foot.", says Parks and Recreation Director Ernie Gouvas.

Gouvas has helped coordinate the skate park project.

He says since the price came in over the budget set for the park they will now have to reduce the size of the project.

"We built in a couple of alternatives on our bid in case this happened that was discussed with the group and with Wally Hollyday, the designer, and our recommendation will be to remove two bowls from it that will be a $135,000 deduction and get us right under budget", says Gouvas.

Construction for the skate park is set to begin within the next few weeks, but some skaters are hoping that before the project begins, they will reconsider or find funding to put the two bowls back into the project.

"I've seen skate parks in 12 countries now and one of the biggest problems I’ve seen in almost every state park is not having suitable beginner and intermediate areas."

Nathan Curry is familiar with skate parks. He helped start a smaller one at Basil Griffin Park in Bowling Green years ago and was disappointed to hear the news that two bowls will be cut from the project.

He's concerned mainly for safety reasons. He says one of the bowls being removed is important for skaters progressing from beginner to intermediate.

"They're going to jump in the larger bowls which will cause not only frustration and aggravation both for more experienced riders and the kids wanting the time in there to learn, but also possible safety issues with kids jumping in and getting hit", says Curry.

He says he just hopes that the two bowls will be added back into the project in the future.

"We just want to make sure that if these two bowls can't be added in right now that they will be added in as soon as possible", says Curry.

"We're all disappointed about it. We wanted what the wish list included. It's just one of those things when price comes in over your budget you've got to reduce the size of the project. Everyone's disappointed, we are too, but it will still be a great park", says Gouvas.

Curry agrees.

"No one here has been able to grow up with a facility like this and the facility is going to be amazing", says Curry.

The park is set to open in late October or mid November.

Gouvas says they will be applying for grants to raise money to hopefully get at least one of the bowls put back into the project.

The skate park is on the agenda for Tuesday night's city commission meeting at 7:00 p.m.