West Valley to Begin Construction on Skate Park
Apr 08, 2016 11:12AM
● By Bryan Scott
By Natalie Mollinet | firstname.lastname@example.org
West Valley - In March, the West Valley City Council met to discuss a resolution on who will be building West Valley’s new skate park at Centennial Park, a project that has been 14 years in the making.
The council voted on having Stapp Construction build the skate park at a bid of $1,208,497. Included in the bid amount will be $81,833.52, a contingency fund to use for any necessary change orders, making the total money being put into the park $1,290,330.52.
“The West Valley Skate Park has gone through three mayors and two revisions, plus years of negotiations,” Josh Scheuerman, a community advocate, said. “There is potential to be the largest and best skate park in Utah, but now it’s up to the contractors to make it so.”
Scheuerman has really been pushing to get this park started since day one, back when he was around 25 years old. He has worked with different government offices and has helped get support from the community.
“Many youth, parents and former skaters (in their youth) have been requesting and supporting the development of a skate park for many years,” Director of Parks and Recreation Kevin Astill said. “They have met with staff and attended City Council multiple times for over 10 years.”
Shortly after the 2002 Winter Olympics, Scheuerman approached then-Mayor Dennis Nordfelt to help fund a skate park. Scheuerman came to find out that the there was already funding started for a skate park by the Zoo, Arts and Parks program in the city. The park was getting ready to be built in 2004, but funding was pulled from the park.
The skate park was put in the bottom of the city’s project list, but in 2010 another opportunity presented itself: Proposition 3. If passed, it would fund 17 new parks, 27 miles of trails and a 4- to 7-acre community village square, and included the funding for a skate park.
“At the time, I skateboarded around my neighborhood and various others, distributing pamphlets that detailed the improvements and conveying the message that we were ‘investing in the future generation and the open spaces in West Valley City,’” Scheuerman said in a letter.
Unfortunately, for Scheuerman, the public voted against the increase in property tax, and the proposal was voted down.
With the park finally being funded, Scheuerman feels this will be a great place for teens to hang out. Skateboarding has been a sport that has been looked down upon, but with so many elementary schools, junior highs and high schools, it was felt that a skate park may be a good alternative for teens and kids to hang out and to try something new.
“This is a good option for the kids to do,” Scheuerman said to the city council. “It’s something that will encourage them, help build their self-esteem and give them something to do, too.”
The population of West Valley of people under 19 makes up 35 percent of the population, and it is growing.
“At some point in the timeline of the city skate park construction, it was determined that a passion for skateboarding is a cause for concern and should be monitored. Those inclined to skateboard haven’t fallen into traditional sports, but they possess the same heart and desire to perform—no different than any other athlete that gives 100 percent to their craft,” Scheureman said.
“We hope the park is well used and gives the young citizens of the city a place to call their own,” Astill said. “We hope it’s a place where they can be themselves and feel comfortable without fear of being kicked out because of their skateboards.”
And as of March 9, Mayor Ron Bigelow authorized and executed a contract with Stapp for the skate park. The park is slated to be built by mid June according to Scheuerman, and it will have its own unique features.
“We’re very excited to have one and feel it will be well used,” Astill said. “It will serve a substantial part of our city population.”
If you’d like to donate to the park, you can go onto westvalleyskatepark.org and purchase a brick that says “West Valley Skatepark Donation” on it. The proceeds will help fund the skate park.