Skateboarder Martin Beckett hits the quarter pipe Thursday afternoon at Howelsen Skate Park. Supporters of a new skatepark in Steamboat Springs are optimistic that construction will begin this summer at a new location in west Steamboat.

Photo by John F. Russell

Skateboarder Martin Beckett hits the quarter pipe Thursday afternoon at Howelsen Skate Park. Supporters of a new skatepark in Steamboat Springs are optimistic that construction will begin this summer at a new location in west Steamboat.

New skatepark construction could begin this summer

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— Construction of a new Steamboat Springs skatepark could begin this August in western Steamboat, city and Steamboat Skatepark Alliance officials said.

"It looks like we're moving ahead with the project this summer," said Jon Casson, of the Steamboat Skatepark Alliance.

In the third week of June, the city will learn whether Great Outdoors Colorado will award a grant for the project. Chris Wilson, city director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services, said he is not sure how large the grant would be.

"It depends on what they decide to give us," Wilson said. "We originally asked for $150,000."

Casson said his organization has $50,000 in the bank, has received commitments for several in-kind donations and is seeking additional grant funds from other agencies.

"We're pretty much financing this all ourselves," Casson said.

A conceptual design of the project calls for a 20,000-square-foot concrete skatepark on a piece of city-owned property on the Yampa River, known as the Bear River parcel. The site, a former city sewer lagoon, is at the western terminus of the Yampa River Core Trail near the Routt County Justice Center.

The total cost of the project is $610,000, according to the city's five-year capital improvement program, but Casson and Wilson said they don't anticipate funding the full project this year. Casson said he anticipates doing half to two-thirds of the project this year.

"We know we won't be able to build the whole facility as conceptually designed," Wilson said. "The later parts will be done as phases as funds are raised and needs have grown."

If all the right pieces fall into place, Wilson said, construction can begin in August and would be done before the snow flies. The city's public works department already is engaged in a reclamation of the former sewer lagoon.

The new skatepark would complement a smaller modular-ramp skatepark at Howelsen Hill. Casson said that 5,000-square-foot park is inadequate because it is too small and does not comfortably fit all skill levels.

"You've really got to be aggressive to get in there and have a run," he said. "We're a growing community that has a ton of use. Skateboarding is another sport that kids are into."

Access to the park would be accommodated by the Core Trail and a nearby bus stop. Casson also said that Lagoon Lane would be graded and a small dirt and gravel parking lot would be added at the site.

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