Skatepark ‘curing’ before it opens

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2007

By Staff
Facility should open by first of February
Contributing Editor
Ramps and rails and bowls, oh my!
If those aren’t enough components for Washington’s new skatepark, how about adding half pipes, pyramids and verts?
The Patrick Cochran Memorial Skatepark has those items. Although those features of the skatepark have been completed because the concrete work is done, there’s other work remaining to be performed before the skatepark opens to the public.
That explains the signs around the skatepark that warns people against trespassing.
City workers will do the “rough grading” needed to prepare the ground around the skatepark for landscaping, Hardison said. A 6-foot high fence will be erected around the skatepark before it will be open to the public, she said.
The skatepark, which will be unsupervised, should be open for use by February, she said. A grand-opening ceremony will be held sometime after the skatepark opens, she said. No fees will be charged to use the skatepark, Hardison said.
Hardison said the skatepark project still requires money for fencing, landscaping, picnic tables, park benches and similar amenities, which likely will be added after the facility opens.
Before the skatepark opens, the Washington City Council will have to adopt a skatepark ordinance, rules and policies governing people’s use of the facility, Hardison said. The council also will consider whether skaters and skateboarders will be required to sign waivers stating they have read the skatepark rules and that they release the city from any liability if they are injured while using the skatepark’s facilities, Hardison said.
A representative from the N.C. League of Municipalities, through which the city obtains its liability insurance, will have to survey the skatepark before the city’s liability coverage for the skatepark begins, Hardison said.
The skatepark includes the following features:
The skatepark’s rails and ledges are 12 inches to 18 inches high.
In March, the Washington City Council voted unanimously to award a construction contract not to exceed $210,000 to California Skateparks and a $7,000 contract for skatepark-construction management to Wally Hollyday. The skatepark is next to the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center on East Seventh Street.
The Washington Optimist Club and a group of volunteers have raised at least $110,000 to help pay for the 8,000-square-foot park. The city has committed $85,000 to the project. Beaufort County has appropriated $20,000. Cochran’s family has been instrumental in helping raise money for the skatepark.
To help pay for the skatepark, some people, businesses and organizations bought brick pavers that will become a part of the skatepark. The skatepark committee also sells T-shirts, hoodies and monogrammed polo shirts that have the skatepark’s logo to raise money for the project. The Beaufort County school system has approved the hoodies and polo shirts for wear by students in its schools.
Anyone interested in providing a paver for the skatepark or in buying T-shirts, hoodies or monogrammed polo shirts should contact Hardison at (252) 975-9367, extension 223.