Skate parks’ plans change

Published 9:07 pm Thursday, July 29, 2010

A change in plans for two proposed skate parks in the city has pushed their anticipated completion date to the fall, Suffolk Parks and Recreation director Lakita Frazier said Thursday.

The city originally hoped to build two parks — one at Lake Meade Park, behind Farm Fresh on North Main Street, and the other at Bennett’s Creek Park. One was intended to be a concrete design, and the other would consist of modular elements that could be moved around periodically to change the appearance. Construction was scheduled to end in mid-August.

However, Frazier said, it came to the city’s attention that concrete parks are easier to maintain.

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“We were so excited about receiving the grant from [the Tony Hawk Foundation],” Frazier said. “During that grant review process, it was brought to our attention that concrete facilities are better facilities, because they require little or no maintenance.”

After the city decided to do both parks in concrete, the projects had to be re-advertised for bids in accordance with state law.

“Since we changed the scope of the project, [we had to] give the companies another opportunity to bid on what we really wanted to move forward with,” Frazier said.

The funding for the project still is in place, and site clearing has begun at Lake Meade Park in preparation for construction. The parks will cost $220,000. The Tony Hawk Foundation contributed a $10,000 grant.

“This slight delay will only in the long run be a better investment for our citizens,” Frazier said. “We want to ensure we provide the best facilities possible. We didn’t want to look back and say, ‘We wish we’d done it this way.’”

The parks should be completed by early November, Frazier said.