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Lathrop adding shade for skate park
Lathrop is adding a shade structure at the citys skate park. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

It’s already one of the most advanced and popular skate parks in San Joaquin County.
But what are kids to do in the dead heat of the summer when there’s nothing but open space and pavement and nothing more than a building and a handball court to keep the sun from beating down on them?
Now that the Lathrop City Council has given its blessing, relief is coming in the form of a series of elevated shade nets in the area that will cost just over $50,000 to install and hopefully be ready by the time the mercury hits triple digits this summer.
On Monday the council voted unanimously to approve the installation which will be dependent upon structural plan checks and some last minute fine-tuning before the work can actually begin. The posts that will support the elevated netting will be installed first, and once it is settled then the netting can be hung.
The council had previously approved setting aside $34,000 for the project but the added cost of removing concrete and readying it for the new shade structure will add just over $16,000 to the total. The initial funding was set aside as part of the Measure C one-cent sales tax increase, but staff learned on April 1 that the shade structure can be paid for out of the Community Development Block Grant funding awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Redevelopment, and the complete funding of the project was selected to be covered by the San Joaquin County portion of the program.
The skate park at the Lathrop Generations Center, across the street from Lathrop High School, was such a big hit before it was finished that kids routinely hopped chain link fences and skated in unfinished pools that still had exposed rebar at the bottom – prompting crews to place massive blankets down at night to thwart the activity.
Lathrop’s original skate park, located on 7th Street, was dismantled and disposed of because of the high cost of maintaining the treated wood and the susceptibility to both vandalism and wear and tear, and the site has reopened as a modular park with bolt-in features that are far more durable and can be replaced at a much lower cost than what was previously installed at the site.
If all goes as planned, the sail-shaped structures will be in place by this summer.