Mark Roth said he doesn’t mind the heat when he’s out skateboarding.
But it’s the sun that can be the real killer.
And soon, thanks to taxpayers in Lathrop, however, that’s not something that he has to worry about anymore when he visits from Stockton to take advantage of what has become one of San Joaquin County’s most popular and heavily used skate parks.
While the city spared no expense when designing the state-of-the-art park – which, unlike other skate parks in the area, has areas crafted to particular users that are often excluded at other parks – the decision to add shade didn’t come until after the park was already open.
Roth said he can’t wait to be able to spend even more time out there with his son once he doesn’t have to worry about exposure to the elements.
“It’s definitely one of the better skate parks in the area and it’s a lot of fun and if it was just me I would put a hat on and not worry about it,” said Roth while taking a breather. “But my son’s pretty young and it’ll be nice for him and my wife to be able to hang out in a shaded area while we’re out here as a family.
“It’s a nice park and they did a good thing when they added it here, and it’s only going to get better with this.”
Originally the city looked into footing the bill with a $50,000 expenditure from the Measure C fund – money generated by the one cent sales tax increase that voters approved in November of 2012 for a variety of city services – but when they approved the expenditure in May discovered that there was money available in community development block grant fees that will cover the $34,000 for the shade sails themselves and the $16,000 worth of concrete replacement that will be needed to secure them.
It’s just the latest in a long series of steps where local planners have listened to the community and responded to their needs and their wants when it comes to recreational opportunities.
Once the built-in park at the Generations Center opened, the city shuttered the original aboveground skate park on 7th Street because of ongoing maintenance costs and the general disrepair that extensive use created at the park. While it had been the subject of extensive vandalism at one time – which required for it be rebuilt – the city determined that they needed to reevaluate the cost effectiveness of the ramp maintenance and the risk factors that that some of the exposed metal elements and the rotting wood created for those who used it.
But they didn’t abandon it completely. Using funds from Measure C, the council approved gutting and reinstalling bolt-in skate features that’s are built to withstand the rigors of regular use and require far less routine maintenance by city crews. In the event that a particular items does become warmed or broken, the park was built to allow for that piece to be removed and replaced with a new segment – an option that isn’t afforded with fully concrete skate parks like the one at the Generations Center.
“It gives kids the opportunity to do something other that sit in the house, and I feel safe enough out here to bring my family to enjoy it,” Roth said. “You have to appreciate a community that looks out for their kids and gives them something fun that they can do.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.