Site of proposed Nipomo skate park

The site of the proposed Nipomo skate park is part of the Nipomo Community Park Master Plan and is next to the library on West Tefft Street. 

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A skatepark in Nipomo moved one step closer to completion Tuesday when the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved a $143,861 engineering and design contract.

“After we get the design, then we go back, and that’s where the real party begins,” said Nipomo resident Tom Slater, who has led youth skaters in their effort to get the skatepark up and running.

The contract with Santa Maria-based Stantec Consulting Services Inc. includes site planning/preliminary concept design, schematic design, cost estimating, public meetings, design development, construction documents, bidding services, maintenance manual, environmental services, CEQA document and grant-writing funding support.

The contract calls for two public input meetings “with local stakeholders” on Oct. 26 and Nov. 16. If all goes to schedule, construction could begin in summer 2018, with completion slated tentatively for Aug. 30, 2018.

“It went on the consent agenda and was passed with no questions," Supervisor Lynn Compton said. "Now, we have to work creatively to come up with the money to fund the whole skateboard park.” 

The 2012 Nipomo Park Master Plan designated about 10,000 square feet of the over 140-acre park for use either as a swimming pool or skatepark. Area youth pushed for the skatepark, noting the community already has a swimming pool at Nipomo High School.

The site is located next to the library on West Tefft Street. 

Skatepark enthusiasts also have pointed out the proposed simple, low-maintenance, concrete design would not impact the community’s water resources.

In June 2016, after years of legal battles focused chiefly on park use and water issues, Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera denied a writ of mandate requested by Nipomo Parks Conservancy, thereby opening the door for fundraising, planning and further development of the park.

Skatepark enthusiasts, led by local teacher and skater Slater, jumped on the opportunity. They contacted the Tony Hawk Foundation for direction and potential grant funding, skatepark designer Zach Womhoudt, who designed Los Osos and San Luis Obispo skateparks, and began working with Compton and County Public Works.

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This past June, the Board of Supervisors allocated $400,000 of its public facilities fees to the Nipomo park for basketball courts, the skateboard park, tennis courts, pickleball courts and equestrian activities.

“When the kids get to meet with the planners and get to give their input, then they see the plan. That’s when they’ll get excited,” Slater said.

Anticipated detailed elements of the skatepark plan include site furnishings, skateable art, signage, fencing and/or walls, custom-themed elements, drainage/erosion control and landscaping.

Slater said the skatepark itself should run about $400,000. The remainder of the estimated $1 million cost will include parking, ADA-compliant restrooms, rerouting the park road, as well as other county-required park infrastructure.

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