Skate park one step from final drawings

"Skateboarders and freestyle bicyclists desperate to take their first runs on a planned skateboard park scratched away at two proposed layouts with felt-tipped pens in the high school New Commons last Monday night to make a few minor adjustments in what will become the park's final design.Two architects from the California design firm Purkiss-Rose-RSI placed two conceptual drawings of the proposed park in front of about 40 skaters, bikers, Rotary Club members, and parents at the meeting and asked them to choose the design they want built on 10,000 square feet of space in the South Whidbey Community Park.Within an hour, the designers had a single plan in mind that combined what the park's future users considered to be the best elements of both drawings.The decision was not difficult to reach, since most of the design elements in the Purkiss-Rose drawings were submitted by the skateboarders during a meeting in February. Frank Hirata, a Purkiss-Rose architect and professional skateboarder, told his audience at the meeting that the combination of quarter pipes, funboxes, picnic tables, and flat rails on the drawings his firm put together is what the park's future users want.Some of the non-skaters at the meeting had trouble imagining what the park would look like. Hirata did his best to explain, but had trouble describing a few of the ramps and other obstacles in the drawings. The skateboarders know what this stuff looks like, he said.Purkiss-Rose will bring a final concept drawing back to the South Whidbey Rotary Club -- which is paying the $15,000 design fee -- and the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation Department in about a month. Building the park is expected to cost about $150,000, a portion of which could be paid with a state recreation grant the parks district applied for earlier this year.The skate park group will hold another public meeting next month. No date has been announced for the meeting. "

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