Officials balance skate park designs, cost

By on August 6, 2014

Ephrata Borough should soon have a design in place for its new skateboard park to be constructed at the Ephrata Public Library.

Spohn Ranch Skateparks’ design sketch for the planned skate park at the Ephrata Public Library. The “bowl” on the top left side is not budgeted in the first phase of the project but it could be added at a later date.

Spohn Ranch Skateparks’ design sketch for the planned skate park at the Ephrata Public Library. The “bowl” on the top left side is not budgeted in the first phase of the project but it could be added at a later date.

Council had met recently with Jason Baldessari from Spohn Ranch Skateparks of Los Angeles and local skaters who provided design feedback.

Spohn this week submitted its second design sketches to the borough, said Nancy Harris, planning and engineering manager.

“We received revised sketches and we are reviewing them,” Harris said Tuesday. “They missed a few things so they still have to make some changes. We have requested a revised schedule from the skate park company. I should know more by the end of the week.”

All of the design sketches include a “bowel” skating area — which resembles an empty swimming pool — that will not be in the phase one construction budgeted at $200,000.

“The bowl is shown but that is part of a future phase,” Harris said.

The skate park will replace the one previously located on the lower level at the former Teen Center behind the pool house at the Ephrata Community Pool.

That skate park was closed in 2011 as part of the pool renovation project. The skate park is planned for the Cocalico Creek side of the property at the library.

Spohn Ranch initially provided two different conceptual drawings for the skate park with each featuring various ramps, grind rails, and steps in it, Harris said.

“The Ephrata Police Department posted both designs on their Facebook page and asked for comments by the skating community,” she said. “The skaters clearly preferred the one design over the other one and that is the design that Spohn Ranch fleshed out and recently provided to us.”

Council established an ordinance and adopted rules regarding skate parks in October 2003. According to that ordinance, which was amended in 2013, skaters must obtain a permit and will be required to wear a helmet and elbow and knee pads.

Other restrictions prohibit scooters, bicycles or motorized equipment in the skate park zone. The ordinance bans the consumption of any food or beverage as well as tobacco products within the skate park zone and bars unauthorized ramps, jumps or obstacles.

The ordinance also creates guidelines outside the park.

For instance, it’s unlawful for any person to “ride, perform stunt, trick or luge maneuvers within any borough park, including any parking lots located thereon, except within a skate park zone,” according to the ordinance.

The law specifically provides police the authority to suspend the privileges of any person who “performs any prohibited act or who fails to comply with any posted skate park rule or regulation.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455¶

 

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