Skaters in Lathrop might have a second place to shred by the time the rainy season wraps up.
After getting the approval of the Lathrop City Council Monday night, planners like Ken Reed – who oversaw all facets of the skate park engineering and construction at the Generations Center – will now be able to put forward a request for proposal to solicit bids from pre-fabricated skate park component companies to re-outfit the 7th Street Skate Park.
Earlier this year skateboarders and residents on the east side of I-5 lobbied the council to keep the park next to the Lathrop Police Department open even as they were getting ready to tear down the fences around the sprawling concrete jungle at The Generations Center. Not every kid, they pleaded, was able to make it all the way down to the new facility, located across the street from Lathrop High School.
And the council listened.
Initially the city had no choice but the shutter the park because the equipment – a variety of above-ground bent plywood ramps – had fallen into such disarray it had become not just unusable but hazardous. Nails were commonly exposed. Wood would rot out in sections.
Not everybody was keen on the idea.
Chad Balcom of the Skaters for Public Skateparks wrote a letter to the city urging them not to go with the temporary, bolt-in features that the council announced they would be pursuing. The move, however, was being pursued in part so that the needs of the community – skateboarders in that section of town – were met while more permanent solutions were looked into.
The possibility of making the park a permanent site with belowground features like cement bowls hasn’t been ruled out in the future, and some discussion has been had about making the site suitable for a BMX park.
The request will come back to the council in February for their review before it is submitted for bids. It will be a 12-week process to wrap everything up, and depending on construction schedules and agreements with whoever earns the contract, work could begin shortly thereafter.
Because the pieces are already pre-fabricated, the amount of work needed to ready the park wouldn’t be nearly as extensive as it would be on the other skate park.