Saving the Best for Last; Skateboard Park Site Confirmed

Rick Akers, Describes the Skateboard Park Outline for City Council

Rick Akers Describes the Skateboard Park Outline for City Council

The proposed skateboard park for the City of Lamar, termed Wheels Park, has finally found a home. The skateboard park is an idea that took shape about two years ago when area kids were asked what type of outdoor activity they would enjoy in their town.  One of the answers was a skateboard area to replace the one at Parkview Elementary School that was taken down six years ago.  That one was a rudimentary effort, consisting of several wooden and sheet metal ramps set on the concrete playground area in back of the school.  The Healthy Places group ran with the kid’s idea and the city developed a cost estimate for a full scale production that lacked an area and funding.  And now, it appears both will become available.

Proposed Area Looking North from Edge of Skateboard Park

Proposed Area Looking North from Edge of Skateboard Park

Several site recommendations have been made over the past two years, each with pros and cons balanced between location and feasibility. Bicentennial Park, Escondido Park, the horseshoe pits near the Enchanted Forest, the ballfield complex and Willow Creek Park had all been considered.  The Lamar City Council toured the second site at Willow Creek Park during their work session on May 9th and decided on that as the best selection.  The first had been west of the creek and south, towards the bridge.  The second selection was east of the creek and several hundred yards south of the swimming pool.  “This is an area that is hardly ever used,” explained Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Recreation Director.  He added that in this spot, only a few trees would have to be taken down as opposed to the other Park site where more would have to have been removed.  He said there’s enough room for the skateboard area so it wouldn’t compete for space with such annual events as the car show during Lamar Days activities.

The skateboard park will encompass 10,000 square feet in two main sections. One is a bowl, a deeply scooped area that allows riders a faster course.  The second section is connected on the west and is a broader area featuring various dips and turns for riders.  The location is almost opposite the kiva or fireplace pit along Rotary Way, the road that runs north and south through the park.  Akers described some of the benefits of the chosen location, “There’s parking available, proximity to the swimming pool, picnic tables will be placed around the site, the children’s playground is close so a family can spend time here in a lot of different activities,” he told the council.  Akers added that the site is also on the pathway with the proposed Lamar Loop walking trail under development.  He said this would be a natural fit for a number of reasons.  He also said that because the park has a curfew under city ordinances, there would be no lighting set up around the skateboard park.

Funding is almost guaranteed for the project. Lamar was chosen as one of six Colorado communities for an Inspire grant, based on health-oriented needs for outdoor activities for local youngsters.  A coalition has been working on the complete grant proposal which will be submitted by October and the size of the award, perhaps as much as $5 million for the proposed projects, should be announced in December.  “We should be able to start on this project by January,” Akers told the gathering.  The city council voted on the site during their regular meeting on Monday.

By Russ Baldwin


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