Riders of skateboards, bikes, scooters and roller skates, came with their families to the Carver Recreation Center on Thursday to review the final plans for a proposed section of McIntire Park to cater to their needs.
“The skateboarding culture has become increasingly popular and many municipalities have these parks to keep kids off the streets,” said Dan Zimmerman, member of the Skate Park Advisory Board.
Kanten Russell, a designer with Stantec participated via a videoconference during the open house.
“A typical regional skate park is 20,000 square feet, so you are definitely getting a large skate park here with 30,000 square feet,” said Russell.
One section of the skate park will feature new amenities such as a beginner area, steps and rails. The second section is the bowl area, which has a variety of shapes, sizes and depths of bowls.
The park is designed for all age groups, skill levels and to facilitate social interactions. It will also be lit for night skating.
The plan calls for instructional programs for beginners to expert.
Vic Garber, city recreation division manager, said officials plan to have local, regional, and national skating competitions.
“We want to provide these tournaments with music, food trucks and a great social space,” Garber said.
The new park design will provide a safe challenging environment for skaters to develop and show off skills, he said.
“It will also attract skaters from [the University of Virginia] and other regions,” Zimmerman said.
Two acres were reserved for the skate park in the 2012 McIntire Park Master Plan, and there have been three public meetings on the design since April 2014. After hearing comments on the two final designs, the consultants combined two proposals for the final plan.
“We have been constantly tweaking and changing to get best skate park possible.” Garber said.
The designers then took the proposal to the City Council in December and received positive feedback, he said.
“Now we are making sure this is the design everyone wants,” Garber said.
Since the skate park is sited within the larger park, parents with skaters also will have areas to enjoy, planners said.
“The skate park was sited this way to make it family friendly,” said Zimmerman.
While there currently is no funding to build the park, Garber said they plan to decide on a funding strategy as soon as they get the design approval from the City Council by May.
“The money is out there, and for something like this it shouldn’t be hard for us to get it,” Garber said.
The current skate park, which was relocated as a result of construction of the grade-separated intersection at the U.S. 250 Bypass and McIntire Road, will remain open until construction of the new skate park is complete.