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Half-pipe dreams will come true

40,000-square-foot skate park to open March 27

Posted: February 9, 2009 12:57 a.m.
Updated: February 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The new skate park includes a 9 by 13 foot bowl where skaters will be able to skate under a bridge. The park, which still needs landscaping, is right on schedule and is set to open March 27 at 3:30 p.m.

The work keeps rolling on Santa Clarita's new skate park, with a grand opening set for the end of March.

The 40,000-square-foot park is part of a 15-acre expansion of the Santa Clarita Activities Center, and will dwarf the former park which closed last year.

The new park is part of a $25 million upgrade to the activities center.

Recreation Supervisor Toi Chisom said she has already fielded calls from across the country expressing interest in the park, and she said the parks and recreation department expects the park to be a major local draw for skateboard enthusiasts and professionals.

"This will be one of the most premier skate parks in the state," she said during Thursday's meeting of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission. "We haven't had to do any advertising."

After several meetings with local skateboarders to gauge input on what they'd like to see in a park, the city contracted with Site Design Group.

Based in Solana Beach, the company specializes in skate park design and construction.

The new skate park will feature a general plaza area, a 14-foot-deep bowl with a half-pipe and different types of stairs.

Restrooms and a 900-square-foot concession stand are also part of the design.

As a homage to the former park, which was open for 10 years, a walkway in the new park will include a slab of well-worn concrete from the old skating area, said Tom Reilly, parks development administrator.

When it comes to requirements, nothing will change, said Rick Gould, director of parks, recreation and community services.

Skateboarders will still be required to wear protective equipment, and if they do not, they skate at their own risk. The park will be patrolled by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies, who can choose to cite skaters for not wearing protective gear.

Gould said a bright spot is that skateboarding has ranked low on the scale for injuries in youth sports, because primarily, "these kids know what they're doing."

Dovetailing with the March 27 grand opening, Chisom said the city plans to form a skate park community commission, involving staff members, sheriff's deputies, skateboarders and parents.

"I never thought this would come out as nice as it has," parks commission chair Ed Redd said.


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