OCEANSIDE — City Council approved a contract and funds to build the city’s fifth community skatepark on Dec. 19.
The Alex Road Skatepark will complete the city’s plan to have a complete skatepark system and will be twice the size of other Oceanside skateparks.
The stand-alone skatepark will feature two bowls, a snake run and a street skate area that collectively spread over 22,700 square feet. The site will also include a viewing area, temporary restroom facility and biological buffer between it and the San Luis Rey River.
“The street section features street features like banks, ledges and handrails,” Nathan Mertz, Oceanside parks development manager, said. “There are two good size bowls that range from 4 feet to 12 feet.”
Alex Road Skatepark was designed in 2006 as part of the city planning process, along with Martin Luther King Jr. and Melba Bishop skateparks. The idea was to provide safe areas out of traffic and away from business fronts where skaters could engage in their sport.
Mertz said skateboarding has become a mainstream sport. The existing skateparks are often busier than adjacent athletic fields and cost considerably less to maintain.
“On a given summer afternoon the baseball and soccer fields are empty and the skatepark has a considerable amount of people inside it,” Mertz said. “It’s more bang for the buck.”
“Its popularity warrants just as much space in the park as a basketball court, baseball field or playground,” he added.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Melba Bishop skateparks were built in 2009. These smaller parks required less funding.
California Skateparks of Upland will construct the Alex Road Skatepark. The total project cost is $946,350. A $428,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant was secured to pay for close to half of the building costs. Additional funds were provided through a $25,000 Tony Hawk Foundation grant and city park development funds.
Groundbreaking on the skatepark will begin in January. Completion is expected in late summer.
“It will be a safe place for beginning skateboarders and there will be enough there for accomplished skateboarders to keep them interested,” Mertz said.
Oceanside is also home to John Landes and Libby Lake skateparks that were built in 2002.
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