Donor offers to pay for skate park
A proposal to build a skate park near the Roosevelt Community Recreation Center was given wings Monday when the Fairfield City Council voted to create a request for proposal for the project.
The proposed skate park would be west of the rec center and would be paid for entirely with money from a single donor. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has pledged up to $150,000 to build a skate park.
Melanie Carlson of French-Reneker-Associates addressed the council and said the skate park could be constructed for less than $150,000. She estimated the cost of construction to be about $110,000. However, that does not include the cost of lighting the skate park. Councilor Michael Halley said the lighting for the skate park could be installed at the same time the indoor gym is built.
Carlson said the construction of the skate park will not require the city to spend any money. Fairfield Park and Recreation director Derik Wulfekuhle said city staff might have to clean up around the skate park occasionally, but he does not expect the staff to spend very much time or money maintaining it.
The skate park is not part of the indoor gym and outdoor pool project that Fairfield voters approved. None of the money from the $3 million bonds taken out to pay for the gym and pool will go to the skate park.
The city has a skate park in Heritage Park on North Ninth Street. However, Wulfekuhle said the anonymous donor felt that skate park was out of the way and that the town needed something nicer and something closer to where kids congregate. Wulfekuhle said the donor wants to give kids in town more opportunities to play outside.
The skate park in Heritage Park has a few ramps and railings to allow skateboarders or bikers to do tricks. The proposed skate park would look quite a bit different since instead of being on mostly flat terrain it would be a bowl shape below ground or “in ground” as it is called. The skate park at Heritage Park is known as an “above ground” skate park.
Wulfekuhle said he and the donor agreed a bowl-shaped skate park would be an attractive feature to add to the town.
“A lot of cities would go this direction [having a bowl] rather than have ramps with sharp edges. With a bowl, you don’t have to worry about metal falling apart.”
Wulfekuhle said the donor is moving money around in his bank accounts in preparation for paying for the skate park. He said construction on the skate park could begin as early as July and could be open to the public later this year.