The city of Santa Maria now has two places for skaters to show off their skills with the addition of the city’s newest skatepark at Atkinson Park.
The new skate area is actually the city’s old skatepark, just in a new place.
Last month, the city’s Recreation and Parks Department replaced all of the equipment at its original skateboard recreational area with brand-new equipment.
Rather than scrapping the old equipment, city leaders decided to reuse it.
“The old park wasn’t in bad shape," said Jim Davis, Recreation and Parks Department’s park services manager, who added his department was able to recycle the old park because of how well it was cared for.
“The staff has done a great job of maintaining that equipment, and its life expectancy was extended and it is still able to be used.”
The Fletcher Park upgrades, which led to the creation of the second skatepark, were part of the city’s regular park rehabilitation schedule and cost about $65,000. Davis said the second park only cost man hours to construct and was a way to provide another recreation option on the north side of town.
The original skateboard area is in the southeast area, at Fletcher Park, located at 2200 S. College Drive. The new skateboard area is in the northwest quadrant, at Atkinson Park, 1000 N. Railroad Ave, near Robert Bruce Elementary School and Santa Maria Foursquare Church.
The Atkinson Park skate area mirrors the original setup at Fletcher Park, and includes a half pipe, grind rails, ramps and other features.
“We did the exact same layout because we knew the footprint,” Davis explained.
The rules of the Atkinson skatepark are the same as at Fletcher Park: Users are asked to use all the proper safety equipment and only use skateboards, in-line skates and in-line scooters on the equipment.
The major difference is when the park is open -- dawn to dusk.
“The hours are a little different because we don’t have lights there,” Davis said of the skate area at Atkinson Park.
The park area is currently open for use, but work crews will return soon to construct a fence around the area.