Refurbished skate park rolls toward reopening
October 27, 2008
After more than two months of effort, a small army of workers put the finishing touches on a renovation of the South Lake Tahoe skate park Monday afternoon.
The final piece of the project was applying concrete to an 8-foot-tall section of quarterpipe in the most northeastern section of the park.
The only thing left do is to “let this cure and clean up,” said South Shore resident Airick Valenzuela, who volunteered to manage construction of the project for the city of South Lake Tahoe’s Parks and Recreation Department.
When asked why he took on such a project, Valenzuela said simply, “because no one else would.”
The skate park is in Bijou Community Park, and the newly laid concrete will need at least 10 days to harden properly, Valenzuela said.
A reopening celebration for the 12-year-old park is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 8.
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Overanxious skateboarders rode on the new concrete about a week ago, Valenzuela said, damaging the concrete’s sealant and delaying the project by about five days.
Since August, volunteers have replaced the skate park’s cracked asphalt and graffiti-laden banks with seamless concrete trimmed in green paint.
“It was a refurbishing of the old park, and it came out beautiful,” said Gary Moore, Parks and Recreation director for the city of South Lake Tahoe.
Moore described the refurbishment as a “tremendous volunteer project,” crediting several local individuals and companies for donating supplies and money for the project.
Without the help, the project likely never would have been completed, Moore said.
The city has spent more than $20,000 on staff time and lending equipment for the project, Moore said, but the refurbished skate park’s costs have been dwarfed by the amount of volunteer time put in.
Local resident Shon Baughman, who helped build the original skate park, estimates volunteer efforts on the park have amounted to more than $70,000 worth of help.
Baughman hopes to raise enough money to expand the park to include additional features, such as a bowl or snake run.
But the immediate goals for the park are a little bit simpler.
“Hopefully, all the graffiti artists will stay off our canvas,” Valenzuela said.
to see more photos of refurbishment work at the skate park.