By Oliver Lazenby
The city of Blaine scored a deal on some new features for its aging skate park and have closed the park from July 19 to mid-August to install the new equipment on the concrete slab behind the library on 4th Street.
Some of the park’s current obstacles are worn and aging, but the main reason the city purchased new equipment is to upgrade the park with bigger and more interesting skate spots. Volunteers built some of the park’s older obstacles, which include ledges and rails welded together from steel I-beams.
“It’s a matter of putting in better and more interesting equipment,” said Blaine’s community development director Michael Jones. “Essentially what we have there is a set of equipment that was always considered to be phase 1. Phase 2 was always scheduled for this year.”
The city purchased modular ramps from the city of Covington, south of Seattle. The ramps have been in use at the Covington skate park, which is similar in size to Blaine’s, since it opened in 2004.
Covington got a grant from King County to build a new concrete skate park, and auctioned its old equipment. The city of Blaine paid $3,734 for the collection of rails, ledges, quarter-pipes and other ramps.
“We actually feel like it was a great opportunity to not only reuse the equipment that Covington was surplussing, but also make our budget go a lot further,” said Michael Jones, city community development director.
The city had $35,000 set aside in its park budget this year for improving the skate park. After purchasing, disassembling, transporting and installing the ramps, the city will probably have some money left over for some minor repairs or cleanup, Jones said. The park’s foundation is a 9,500-square-foot concrete slab that is crumbling in places.
The city’s timing for repairing the park isn’t great, Jones acknowledged. The timeline
is dictated by the city of Covington’s schedule – they gave the city of Blaine a date by which
the ramps had to be removed from their current location in Covington.
“We understand now is not necessarily the ideal time to close the park, but it would have cost substantially more to put the ramps in storage,” Jones said. “We are hoping that it will be less than a month but we are not sure exactly how long it will take.”
This isn’t the first time new ramps have been installed at the park, which opened in 2004. Currently, the park has a mix of ramps and features that the city bought in 2010, and some obstacles built before 2010.
Insane in Blaine gallery
On July 2, the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 and Unknown Board Shop in Bellingham hosted a skate jam at the Blaine Skatepark. Photos by Donna Reed.