City Considers Bond to Rebuild Skateboard Park

Photo: The skateboard park in Harrison Park is currently undergoing a 
facelift due to cracks in the bowl that have worsened in the last few years.
Skyler Reid/Staff
The skateboard park in Harrison Park is currently undergoing a facelift due to cracks in the bowl that have worsened in the last few years.

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The Berkeley City Council is considering a potential $2.2 million bond measure to rebuild the skateboard park in Harrison Park if cracks in the bowl cannot be fixed by a current facelift effort.

Cracks that appeared in the bowl after it was built five years ago have worsened in the last few years, said Scott Ferris, recreation manager of the city's parks recreation and waterfront department.

"We have a fair amount of cracks and there are spalls of concrete right around the joints," he said.

The park is currently closed as contractors work on a $40,000 full-scale facelift of the bowl. Unlike the park staff's regular efforts to fill the cracks in the bowl, the facelift should provide a more permanent fix, according to Ferris.

"We want to give it a try and see how well the fix holds up," he said. "We want to see if it holds up in six months; if it doesn't, we need to build a new one."

Supporters of the skate park feel that rebuilding the park is a worthy investment.

"Per square foot of park land, the skate park has the most people usage, more than any other park in the city," said Kate Obenour, a skateboard park activist. "Money wise and hours of use, it's perfectly reasonable to spend money on it and maintain it."

But the bond measure to fund a new park is only a preliminary proposal.

Results from a preliminary survey conducted by the city showed that a recreation bond, which included a fund to rebuild the skateboard park, was not high on the list of voters' priorities.

"I would be surprised if it (the bond measure) comes back as something the council would add (as a bond measure)," said Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna.

Councilmember Kriss Worthington said low public support for the bond measure may be attributed to other more pressing issues on the voters' minds.

"In the abstract, a lot of people think it's a good thing, but there are a lot of other things people think are more urgently needed," he said.

The park is a popular destination for skateboarders from Berkeley and neighboring cities.

"It gets an awful lot of use, kids from all backgrounds and all neighborhoods come to use it," said city spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross.

The park is expected to open in six weeks after the facelift is completed, Caronna said.


Contact Evelyn Hu at [email protected]

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