Town N Country skate park could open by fall
TOWN ’N COUNTRY - Design modifications have been completed for a public skateboard park planned for northwest Hillsborough County, meaning the $600,000 project could open by summer’s end, officials say. Tito Porrata of Team Pain Skate Parks, a Winter Springs firm hired to design and build the 13,200-square-foot feature at Jackson Springs Park, said the company’s “aggressive schedule” provides for completing construction in 10 weeks. Site preparation requires five to six additional weeks, he said during a recent meeting at the park, the final public discussion of the project. This will be the third skateboard park built and operated by Hillsborough County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Creating skate parks in Apollo Beach and Brandon provided experience enabling the county to streamline the development process. “We’ve learned how to make this move,” said Shorty Robbins, the county’s division manager for recreation services. “So we’re pretty far into it. It was just the final tweaks of getting what the kids wanted for their park,” she said.Porrata detailed elements of the planned skateboard park, including a takeoff ramp and 15-foot-long granite bull-nosed rail. There will be a shade area/rain shelter, and there are plans to place appropriate public art at the facility. “It looks awesome,” said Chase Spriggs, one of two Alonso High School sophomores who attended the meeting for a preview of the final design. He said he and classmate Angel Vasquez “skate about everywhere in Town ’n Country.” Added Vasquez: “We get kicked out of a lot of places.” The two attended every meeting about the planned Jackson Springs skateboard park, first discussed at a July 17 session. The two 16-year-olds said they plan to start a skateboard club at their school in the fall. Resident Edith Traina said she was impressed with the process allowing skateboarders to offer suggestions about the park. “These boys are so knowledgeable and so into the skatepark that they were able to assist you, and you were able to accommodate them” she told Porrata. As with the two other county skateboard parks, there will be no admission charge. All skateboarders must wear helmets, with knee and elbow pads required for those age 12 and younger.