Thursday, August 15, 2013
Plano approves $1 million budget for outdoor skate park
They hope to begin construction in the next 14 months.
PLANO When Eisenbergs indoor skate park was forced to shut its doors last March to make room for a 300,000-plus-square-foot mixed-use development along 15th Street near the DART rail line, many skaters in Plano lost their home away from home.
Sixteen months later, skaters received good news when the Plano City Council approved plans to build an outdoor skate park in the city, a park that could encompass many of the aspects seen at Eisenbergs.
"There are a lot of different ways to build a skate park," said Robin Reeves, the city's chief park planner. "You can build deep bowls to facilitate acrobatic events, or streetscape parks with handrails and stairs. I think we will probably end up with a combination of the two; it just depends on what our residents want."
While no location has been chosen for the new park, which has a $1 million budget, Reeves said likely locations are adjacent to Carpenter Park or Archgate Park.
"Those are the two primary locations we are going to look at, but that is not to say we will not look at other locations," he said. "We want the park to be in a location where it is easily accessible, so we need it to be next to a fairly large park that has something like a recreation center or ball fields."
Several city-owned skate parks are already open in Collin County. The Edge, which is owned by the city of Allen, opened in 2005, while the city of McKinney opened its park earlier this year. Ryan Mullins, recreation superintendent for the city of McKinney, said the early returns on the park have been very positive.
"This is one of our most-used parks when you look at visitors per square footage," he said. "In the heat the numbers have been knocked down a little bit, but we are probably getting 1,000 skaters a week."
At Monday's city council meeting, Amy Fortenberry, Plano's parks and recreation director, said skateboarding, as well as inline skating, is not a fad and is not a sport relegated solely to teenagers. Mullins concurred, saying the McKinney park has attracted all age ranges.
"We have a group that comes out on Sunday mornings of skaters over the age of 35," he said. "These people grew up skating and drive around the North Texas area to skate together."
The park in McKinney features a deep bowl as well as street-skating aspects. The park was designed by New Line Skateparks, a Canadian company which is also involved in the design of the proposed Plano park.
Reeves said it is too soon to tell when the park will be open, but added the city hopes to begin receiving bids on the project next summer and begin construction within 14 months.
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News
- No one injured in Plano house fire Thursday morning
- Plano dance studio turns lessons into performance art
- Center for special needs adults moves to new facility in Plano
- Two years after fire, Plano sports bar Austin Avenue will be rebuilt
- Katy Trail Ice House Outpost in Plano is open, with beer specials this week