UPDATE: 2.25.16 City of Plano compromised with community members on a new and final location for the skate park. It’s original location was at the southeast corner of Carpenter Park, close to the Whataburger off Coit Road. The final decision has moved the location just west, further from Coit Road.
Quite an unexpectedly intense January meeting about the upcoming skate park in Plano!
The City of Plano invited the general public to join in a discussion of the concluding logistics and details behind the attraction that has been in the works for years. Those in attendance were a group of skateboard-lovers ranging in age from 8–45 years, about 10 HOA (Home Owner’s Association) members from a nearby neighborhood, and speakers from City of Plano, New Line Skateparks and La Terra Studio, a Dallas-based architectural firm.
Ground breaking for Plano Skatepark @ Carpenter Park will most likely start at the end of the year at its projected location at the southeast corner of Carpenter Park, close to the Whataburger off Coit Road. This location is easily accessible, has a large amount of unused space and has neighboring recreation facilities. The City sees the skate park as an opportunity to give active skateboarders a place to skate in a safe and monitored area, even giving the project the slogan, “Off the streets…into the park.” Just like those who choose to be active in soccer, football, baseball and other sports have the option to use free sports facilities, City of Plano wants the same to be true for the skaters in our community.
Some HOA members are pleased to have a place for skateboarders to go but are dissatisfied with the location choice for Plano Skatepark and did not hold back their opinions. Kevin Murray, Park Superintendent at City of Plano responded, “We’ve been in a nearly year-long process, with over 100 people at multiple meetings and a very firm consensus came from them that [the southeast corner of Carpenter Park] is the best location.” However, since the January meeting, City of Plano has decided that another meeting will be held to discuss the possible relocation of the skate park shifting just west, further away from Coit Road. A meeting date is currently being firmed up.
Members of this particular HOA are most concerned with noise and lights from the skate park invading their homes, the possibility of skateboards ruining their property and a drop in property value. “The skate park will be gated and fenced, and it will operate the same as the rest of Carpenter Park, including its hours, which means noise, light and skateboard objects will not affect houses nearby,” responded Liz Del Turco, Project Manager for the skate park design. Also, the lights that the facility will have will cast light down on just the areas where skaters are, they will be even less noticeable than other field lights.
President of La Terra Studio Chris Brown jumped in to include,”I’ve never seen a house value depreciate from having a skate park close by. The testament to this are the house listings of homes close to skate parks. The realtors choose to include ‘skate park’ along with ‘running trails’ and other perks in the small, valuable space they have to sell.”
Plano Skatepark is only available for use by skateboarders, due to safety reasons. “In terms of allowing multiple types of recreational equipment in the skate park, larger equipment such as BMX or other bikes, pose the issue of user conflicts in a relatively small space. Additionally, bikes have pedals or bars that can scrape the insides of bowls and other skate elements; the uneven surfaces resulting from gouges are another hazard to skaters that can cause injury,” Del Turco said.
The show will most definitely go on.
The project’s $1 million budget will include the following 16 skate park features:
- Flow Bowl with steel bar coping
- Shallow end knuckle and pocket with pool block coping
- Deep Vert Bowl with pool block coping
- Extension ramp with pool block coping
- Flow Bowl extension with ledge slappy options
- Small stair set with manual pad and handrail options
- Large stair set with hubba legde, handrail and up-gap options
- Medium stair set with hubba legde and handrail options
- Table top / wedge-to-wedge feature with rooftop ledge and rooftop rail
- Turn-around transition feature (2)
- Transition extension
- Transition to ledge combinations
- Flat bar feature
- Slappy bank / manual pad combination
- City of Plano logo / floor pattern
The skating area itself will be 20,000 square feet, equivalent to almost half an acre. People of all ages are expected to get a real joy from this new development. Plano Skatepark @ Carpenter Park will be of benefit to neighboring businesses, property owners and the city, and most importantly the community. The skate park is projected to open end of 2017.