Skate park plans scrapped by users

Holmes Beach Skate Park plans
The plans submitted by City Engineer Lynn Burnett to replace aging ramps with new pre-fabricated pieces in the Holmes Beach Skate Park were dismissed by commissioners after users vetoed the proposed equipment. - Submitted | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Members of the local skateboarding community aren’t happy with designs for the rehabilitation of the city’s skate park, but they’re willing to help city leaders get it right.

“This design is really bad,” Jack Coleman said after seeing the proposed layout and equipment for the park at a City Commission work session April 26.

Corey Wash said the material used for pre-fabricated pieces for the park is outdated and would make more noise than a concrete skate park. He said using concrete could be more cost-efficient for the city and require less upkeep than a pre-fabricated park.

“Pre-fab parks become prehistoric in the world of skateboarding,” he said.

Wash suggested expanding the skate park and relocating the adjacent toddler park.

“I’ve never liked the toddler park there,” Commissioner Judy Titsworth said of the small playground’s current location bordering Marina Drive.

Casey Coleman said he feels if the skate park was updated to allow the inclusion of skaters at all levels it would help build the skateboarding community on the Island and keep children from traveling into downtown Bradenton to skate.

In addition to building the park out of concrete, expanding it and possibly including a skate bowl, another suggestion was to add lights to the park to allow for skating after sunset, especially during the hot summer months.

Wash volunteered to help Burnett come up with a better design for the redevelopment of the park.

Titsworth said she’d like Burnett to look at “the bigger picture” of the entire park complex, including the skate park, toddler park, baseball diamond and city field when making her next recommendations for the skate park.

“The Island park means a lot to us,” Matt Bower said.

“Thank you for even looking into this again,” Roberto Rodriguez said.

Burnett thanked all the skaters for attending the meeting and speaking up about what they’d like to see in the park. She said she would be following up with them on suggestions and hopes they’ll all be back to offer input when a new design is presented to commissioners.