Sports

Skate park money is in the bank

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation district commissioners Tara Barlean, Paul Arand, Jim Porter and  Curt Gordon beam Wednesday night over a $100,000 check from the Rotary Club of South Whidbey. The funds, which were presented by Rotary president Ed Gemko and club member Ron Roesser, are to go toward building a skate boarding area at South Whidbey Community Park. - Gayle Saran
South Whidbey Parks and Recreation district commissioners Tara Barlean, Paul Arand, Jim Porter and Curt Gordon beam Wednesday night over a $100,000 check from the Rotary Club of South Whidbey. The funds, which were presented by Rotary president Ed Gemko and club member Ron Roesser, are to go toward building a skate boarding area at South Whidbey Community Park.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

A skate park on South Whidbey came closer to being a reality Wednesday night when the Rotary Club of South Whidbey handed a check for $100,000 to the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District.

Parks chairman Curt Gordon said the donation will get the project started in a big way.

"We are pleased," he said. "The Rotary Club did everything they said they would do to help fund a skate park on South Whidbey. Now we can go ahead with the next step."

That step will be obtaining a building permit and putting the project out for bids, something that should happen sometime this summer.

Earlier this year, it seemed that the Rotary donation, plus $50,000 in grant money the park district received from the state for the project, would not be enough to build the facility. The original design for the skate park, done by the California firm of Purkis-Rose, RSI, was estimated to cost more than $150,000 to build.

Parks director Suzette Hart worked with the architects to "tweak" the plans to fit the budget, getting estimated construction costs down to $128,000. The district, with money from the Rotarians, has already paid Purkis-Rose a $15,000 fee for its work.

Hart said she and the architects removed several design elements from the plans to save money.

"We reduced the sidewall, which cannot be used anyway and that saved us about $20,000," she said.

Hart said construction on the facility should begin in mid-August. The finished park is expected to draw skateboarders, in-line skaters and freestyle cyclists.

The skate park is not the only construction project in the works at the community park. This week, the parks district started work on permanent restrooms at its new Langley Road sports complex.

The district has a septic permit and is waiting to have its building plans approved. The project will be put out for bid next month

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