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On Saturday, the Escondido Community Services Department will host a skate park rally from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Washington Park. Courtesy photo
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City hosting skate park rally Saturday at Washington Park

ESCONDIDO — The city is ramping up its push to gather interest for a skate plaza.

On Saturday, the Community Services Department will host a skate park rally at Washington Park to gather input on the proposed plan.

The rally runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., while pro skaters will conduct demonstrations at 11 a.m. and noon. In addition, vendors will be on site with giveaways for the first 40 skate participants.

Portable skate ramps will be on site as well as professional skaters, scooters and BMX riders will provide demonstrations.

The city, meanwhile, is seeking input from skaters for what would make an engaging skate plaza. Also, the city plans to generate a list of community members willing to be involved in the project.

According to Danielle Lopez, assistant director of community services, the City Council Action Plan directs staff to examine the existing skate park in Kit Carson Park and to conduct a study of other potential sites. One of the main goals, she said, is to assess the level of support for a skate plaza project.

Currently, the city has only one skate park, which is at Kit Carson Park and it serves about 7,500 skaters, scooters, BMX and inline riders per year.

“Our goal is to generate interest and gather community input,” Lopez said. “Community Services staff will engage and seek input from the local community to assess the level of support for a skate plaza project as well as compile a list of desired skate plaza features. In addition, we hope to generate a list of community members who are willing to support and be involved in the project should it move forward.”

As for the size of the project, she said many details are unknown until the City Council decides to move forward with the project. Staff, however, has been strictly doing research.

“One of the goals of Saturday’s event is to get feedback from the community on these items,” she added.

As for the cost, Lopez said it varies drastically depending on the size of the plaza, the features and materials. Typically, she added, costs range from $30 to $50 per square foot for design and build.

Potential funding sources could include money from the city, state and federal outlets, grants, corporate and private donors, sponsorships and fundraising.

Also, the basketball courts could potentially be relocated and refurbished since they are heavily used if the skate plaza is installed in their place, Lopez said.

“A skate plaza at Washington Park would provide a location for the community that may not be able to travel to the other side of town,” Lopez said.

Staff will present its findings and seek direction from the City Council Jan. 25. For information about the proposal, call the Community Services Department at (760) 839-4691.