Friday, August 23, 2013
Frisco approves locations for forthcoming BMX and skate parks
Though the city council said it could take up to 27 months to finish the build out.
FRISCO With a unanimous vote, the Frisco City Council on Tuesday approved the locations for a new skate park and BMX park.
The recommendation for these parks was first brought to the Parks and Recreation Department on July 22, when it voted to approve the location to be considered by the council.
A major factor in deciding the BMX park location was having it be adjacent to the mountain bike trail at the Northwest Community Park, which would contribute to the growth of the cycling community, said Rick Wieland, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Northeast Community Park was chosen for the skateboarding facility because it is a high-activity area that would capitalize on its usage and visibility, he added.
Councilman Will Sowell said he thought it was important for the city to expand the amount of sports it offered for young people in the community to enjoy.
“It would be nice to have something that isn’t a ball and a stick,” he said. “Not every kid is in baseball or soccer, so it would be good to make other activities available.”
The success of similar parks in McKinney and Allen led to Frisco’s push to establish its own.
Mayor Maher Maso said he was skeptical about separating the two parks, Wieland assured him it would be beneficial for the long-term sustainability of the parks.
“The skaters and bikers are generally different groups of people,” he said. “In places like Allen, they clash from time to time being so close to each other. Having them apart would solve that and also allow some kids to not have to drive across the whole town for an option.”
Allen, which has the two parks in the same facility, was the primary reference point when figuring out its plan of action.
McKinney opened a park earlier this year, and Plano approved a $1 million skate park last week. Ryan Mullins, recreation superintendent for the city of McKinney, said the park has been a major attraction so far.
“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 month.”
The opening of the Frisco parks could take around 27 months because of the development required to build the facilities, something Maso said was the most critical element to the plan.
Wieland said he estimates the cost for the BMX park, which would be in the Northwest Community Park, would be less than six figures. This is possible because the main costs of construction are hauling in dirt and forming it into a course.
The funding for the project would come from general obligation bonds and would take around nine months to master plan, he said.
Maso said the council needs to act quickly on the matter because it needs to capitalize on the potential for success with the current generation.
“Those children who were 14 when we first discussed this project are now 17, and we need to make sure to get this in while we can,” he said. “At the end of the day, this needs to get done.”
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