El Centro Skate Park workshop draws crowd
Site Design president Brian Moore discusses with El Centro resident Anthony Aguilar possible features for the upcoming El Centro Skate Park. (Alejandro Davila)
“This is what I wanted,” Miki said with a grin. “I’m really thrilled,” she said. But she didn’t work alone. Three years ago the city of El Centro offered to partner with Miki nonprofit to write the grant that is funding the $2.5 million community-oriented park.
The park will be located in the vicinity of Park Avenue and Sixth Street. Kinley-Horn and Associate Inc. and its subcontractor, Site Design, are in charge of the project.
The park will be 54,000 square feet, Site Design president Brian Moore told the attendees, with 35,000 feet of that area a concrete “skateable surface,” he said.
But, “It’s not just going to be a skate park,” he said. There will be a playground area, bleachers, shade structures and bathrooms. There will also be a space to use as a community space for bands to play and farmers’ markets to take place, he said.
Plans include lighting and night hours of operation will be established, Moore said.
Moore followed his introduction with a PowerPoint presentation in which he showed other parks his company has designed. Different forms of rails, steps and other street-like features that skateboarders use were presented.
El Centro resident, parent and BMX rider Anthony Aguilar interrupted the presentation briefly. He was concerned that the park wasn’t going to be bike-friendly. But Moore reassured him that BMX riding features are intended to be part of the project.
To make sure that both groups were represented in the project, Moore instructed BMX riders and skateboarders to mix.
Staff gave attendees skate park blueprints and printed park features to cut and paste on the blueprints. Skateboarders and BMX riders discussed the features of their park while staff and Moore himself helped.
El Centro resident and parent Pepe Mason was one of the attendees giving input to the project. The park is good for the kids, Mason said.
“They (children) are the future,” he said.
Mason prefers seeing children in a park skating than in the streets doing drugs, he said. “I (just) hope these kids wear their pads and helmets,” Mason said.
“It’s really exciting, man,” said El Centro resident and skateboarder Martin Zendejas. “It’s good to see the community acting together,” he said. He “can’t wait” for the park to the finished, Zendejas said.
At the end, seven plans were put together by the community. Site Design will take those plans and create two skate park proposals for the community to pick in a workshop that will take place tentatively Jan. 5, said project manager Matt Capuzzi.
Ground-breaking is expected in about 11 months and completion in March of 2013, he said.
Site Design has set up a Web site where those who missed the workshop can submit their ideas for the skate park, Capuzzi said.
The designers are not thinking of any limitations, Capuzzi said, “we want all the ideas — even the crazy ones.”
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or email@example.com