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Proposed skate park gets $8,000 donation

SOLANA BEACH — The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society presented the city with what its president, Michele Stribling, called “a gift from the heart” on Valentine’s Day.

The $8,000 donation for a proposed skate park at La Colonia Park narrows the funding gap for the approximately $821,000 project to about $158,000.

“It’s a project a lot of people are looking forward to so the contribution is just really, really valued,” Councilman Dave Zito said.

The gift brings the society’s total contribution to the park to $10,000. The additional money came mostly from the organization’s annual holiday boutique.

“The proceeds from this fundraiser allow us to benefit worthy projects,” corresponding secretary Cindi Clemons said at the Feb. 14 council meeting.

The Civic and Historical Society offers monthly programs for members, residents and the public. In October it highlighted the history of skateboarding in Solana Beach going back to the 1960s.

Local notables included Lenore Dale, who spoke on behalf of her brother, local professional skateboarder Tony Hawk.

Sean Glatts explained how the sport had given him the confidence and drive to achieve his goals. The 17-year-old Solana Beach resident also shared the video of him setting a mark recognized by the Guinness World Records when rode his board 736 feet on two wheels last August.

Councilman Mike Nichols described his journey as a young, sponsored skateboarding competitor.

“You inspired many of us to look beyond just the joys and the myths about the sport to the underlying lessons a teen can learn about responsibility, leadership and becoming an independent young adult,” Clemons said. “Your stories and contributions add a great deal to the importance of the skate park in Solana Beach and touched many of our members.”

A two-phase plan to upgrade La Colonia Community Center and Park approved in 2008 included a skate park. But the entire project stalled when the funding source was eliminated by Gov. Jerry Brown.

A few years ago a group of residents successfully lobbied the city to complete another planned element — an honor courtyard for veterans — separately from the major project.

Skateboarders followed suit. SITE Design, which has designed skate parks worldwide, held two workshops that allowed skaters to design their ideal park.

Based on their input, the park will include elements such as a bowl pocket, three-stair set with rails, China bank, stamped-brick quarter-pipe, pole jam and four-stair set with “Hubba” ledges.

The linear, plaza-style nature will allow for greater use by all-level skaters. There will also be a donor recognition wall with names engraved on plaques resembling skateboards.

Nichols said project drawings are about 70 percent complete and “they look fantastic.”

Construction bids were scheduled to be advertised for 35 days beginning the week of Feb. 19, with a contract expected to be awarded in April. Construction could start in June and will take about nine months to complete.

The city has committed $515,000 to the project. The Tony Hawk Foundation, Solana Beach Sunset Run, Surfing Madonna Beach Run and Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society have donated a total of $36,000.

Various fundraisers have brought in $12,000, and the county awarded the city $100,000 for the skate park from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.