ZEPHYRHILLS — The city’s skateboard enthusiasts can look forward to a new skate park.
The city’s Parks and Recreation committee will make recommendations to the city council on possible sites. The committee has 90 days to decide.
The city has budgeted $225,000 to replace the skate park at Krusen Field, said Public Works Director Shane LeBlanc. The nearly 10-year-old park has a worn surface with equipment that is also showing wear.
The skate park was not made of the best materials when it was constructed, LeBlanc said.
“It should be concrete,” LeBlanc said, “but we didn’t have money to put concrete in at the time so we used asphalt, and asphalt oxidizes just like a road, it deteriorates.”
LeBlanc said the city is looking at building a concrete-type bowl skate park.
“In June, we met with the landscape architect and they recommended a skate park design company called Team Pain,” LeBlanc said. “We looked at some of their designs and really like them.”
The discussion on where to build the skate park had been focusing on the corner of Alston Avenue and 20th Street until the possibility of locating it at Hercules Park was considered, LeBlanc said.
“We have an (Request For Quote) ready to go out for a construction management company that specializes in skate park design,” LeBlanc said. “We’re not sure where we’re going to build it.”
LeBlanc also has been meeting with Zephyrhills High School students who are skateboard enthusiasts for input on what kind of park skaters would like to see built.
“If they buy into it,” he said “they’ll police themselves and it will be something they can be proud of.”
City Manager Jim Drumm said the Hercules property has the benefit of having natural slopes that are part of the skate park’s design. He also said the property is next to the high school with a bus stop nearby and it is close enough to the Zephyrhills Police Department for regular checks. He suggested the current park could remain for bikes.
Councilwoman Jodi Wilkeson expressed concern that the Hercules Park location could delay the project. The property is owned by the Pasco school district.
“While that is the ideal location, there’s no question about it, are we going to wait another three to five years to deliver on a promise to the young people of our community?” she asked.
Council President Lance Smith also said one of the complaints lodged against the Krusen location is that is out of way.
“We need to get it in the right spot,” he said. Maybe there is another location we haven’t thought of.”