Design planning has started for the renovation of the John Weaver Memorial Skatepark in Fairbanks. The $ 1.25 million project is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.
The John Weaver Memorial Skatepark is over 20 years old and outdated and undersized.
“Skateboarding has evolved so much in recent years,” said Jerry Lee Sadler, president of the Fairbanks Skateboard Coalition.
The current skatepark features a mishmash of outdated designs and worn materials that make the park inaccessible to children and novice riders, he said.
“We are trying to expand the possibilities for sports recreation on wheels indoors. Our main mission has been to completely renovate and rebuild the John Weaver Memorial Skatepark, ”Sadler explained at a skatepark design planning meeting.
The Fairbanks Skateboard Coalition has been working on the skatepark renovation since 2016, but is struggling to raise sufficient funds. In April, the borough of Fairbanks North Star approved proposed renovations to the skatepark as part of the capital improvement program.
“The borough funded the design and engineering of the new skatepark,” Sadler said.
The Fairbanks Skateboard Coalition received an additional grant of $ 10,000 from the Skateboard Project. The Skateboard Project, formerly known as The Tony Hawks Foundation, has awarded more than 600 grants to create safe and inclusive public skateparks for young people in underserved communities.
City officials hired California design group PUSHparks to design the new park.
“We want to make sure we’re designing a park that caters to all wheels and abilities,” said Jason Baldessari, chief designer of PUSHparks. The group hopes their design will be finalized and approved by September.
“The project is expected to start in May 2022 and last for 90 days. You can skate before the snow falls, ”Sadler said.
The new concrete skatepark will include a bowl, pumping lane and street skating section. Baldessari also hopes to incorporate a dynamic dual-use ramp into the design of the park. The access ramp would be fully functional during the summer and winter months and would allow the community to continue using the park even when there is snow on the ground. The momentum ramp would also make the park one of the only skateparks in North America that caters to the skatenow community.
PUSHparks plans to hold its next community design meeting at the end of July. Community members are encouraged to complete the PUSHpark Design Survey by June 15th.
“Completing these surveys really helps us build a profile of the community as a whole and helps us make a lot of decisions that will lead to the park you are looking for,” said Baldessari.
PUSHpark’s design survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/HP62TDV.
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