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Lathrop may open second skate park
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Lathrop — once known for having a dilapidated skate park that required an immense amount of maintenance just to keep open — might soon be the only city in the area with two skate parks. 

On Monday the Lathrop City Council approved a capital improvement project request that will allow staff to obtain bids to renovate the city’s original skate park on 7th Street. It was constructed above-ground from treated plywood boards. It was taken out when the sprawling new skate complex opened at the Lathrop Generations Center on the west side of Interstate 5. 

The city is currently working on a parks master plan and as a result is planning on going with a temporary park at the 7th Street location. It will employ a series of pre-fabricated concrete and steel obstacles that can be installed and removed if plans to further renovate and expand other services at that location take place in the future. The move satisfies a small but vocal group that has been lobbying the council to keep the park open.

Nobody spoke on the consent calendar item that was pulled for discussion at the council level. 

Earlier this year Lathrop opened the massive concrete skate park at the Lathrop Generations Center to great fanfare, and staffers and construction workers had a hard time keeping skateboarders out of the facility even while it was still being built. They would find skateboard lines around the bottom of pools with exposed rebar and places where fences had been scaled. 

Workers had to resort to putting massive tarps down to thwart those who wanted to get a first crack at the skate park, but they were most often simply moved out of the way. 

Public Works Director Pat Flynn showed the council a mock-up of some of the pieces that can be added to the park. They were drawn-up by a Carlsbad-based firm that specializes in construction skate parks of that variety. He will bring back plans of what will be sent out to bid before offers are solicited. 

Lathrop’s original skate park was opened in 2004 and has required significant maintenance on behalf of the city to stay operational. Vandals that destroyed equipment several years after it opened shuttered it for a brief stint while the city waited for it to be rebuilt, but the upkeep proved to be too costly once the new park – which was designed with minimal maintenance in mind – was opened.