Design submitted for new skate park
July 22, 2014
By Peter Clark
Issaquah’s new skate park is moving closer to construction with Grindline Skateparks Inc. providing a near-final design.
After three public input meetings, the city-hired designer gave city officials its vision of what Issaquah’s skaters said they wanted in a new park. Grindline lead designer Micah Shapiro said their plan brought flow and a variety of elements to the 8,000-square-foot, triangular-shaped plot in Tibbetts Valley Park, across from the Issaquah Transit Center.
“We’ve kind of gotten it figured out what the public wants,” Shapiro said. “It’s really all about what they want in their skatepark.”
He said a lot of local skaters mentioned their appreciation for Seattle’s Judkins skate park, another of Grindline’s projects, and so the designers tried to incorporate that into the design.
“The process went really well,” Shapiro said. “There’s quite a bit of everyone in there right now.
Now that the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department has a near-final design, Parks Manager Brian Berntsen said officials will focus on the finer details and ensure the council-approved $350,000 budget will line up.
“It’s going to be a while before we come up with a final, firm design,” he said. “We have to see what our budget will hold.”
Department officials still plan to begin construction in spring 2015. In order to finalize the design, they need to scrutinize the expense of the whole operation with the design.
When the City Council decided to fund a new skate park and the demolition of the existing one adjacent to the community center because of drug and safety concerns, it pledged to perform extensive community outreach. Berntsen said the public process employed by the Parks & Recreation Department got terrific engagement from many residents.
“The meetings were outstanding,” Berntsen said. “These skaters really got a say in their community and take responsibility for the park. They really knew what they were talking about.”
A wide range of people from high school students to parents gave opinions about how they wanted a new skatepark to fit into Issaquah.
“It was a lot of fun to watch,” he said. “Everyone was really respectful.”
Berntsen said he would present the design to the Park Board and City Council in the next few weeks, merely to show what came of the public input meetings. He added he was impressed with Grindline’s work.
“It just flows really, really well,” he said. “That’s thanks to a lot of the feedback we got.”
The City Council will next take action on the skate park when the bids for contractors come in later this year or early next.
The location decided by a series of public meetings and approved by the City Council may not have been the perfect place to build a new park, but Shapiro said one doesn’t exist.
“It’s had its challenges, as any site does,” he said. “It’s constrained and has a lot of things going on around it. We had to make sure skateboards couldn’t get out.”
He said because of the valley’s high water table, they could not include any deep bowl structures.
“Due to the drainage, we couldn’t have gone too far into the ground,” Shapiro said.
Still, he said he enjoyed the public’s enthusiasm for the project and interest in taking responsibility for the future park.
In the meantime, the Parks & Recreation Department will go over the plans before drawing up a final draft and putting out a call for contractor bids.
“We’re going to get down to the hard numbers and see what we can and can’t do,” Berntsen said.