The City of Salida has been busy at Centennial Park and this week it will break ground on a new skatepark there.
The new skate park will have multiple zones for people to spread out and ride different features.
“It’s a pretty unique design because we were trying to protect as many trees as possible,” Parks and Recreation Director Mike “Diesel” Post said. “It’s kind of a star shape.”
Originally the new skate park was going to be located where a portion of the parking lot is in front of the aquatic center. Placing it there, however, didn’t have the desired affect of saving trees in the park so the skatepark was relocated and the parking lot will remain as is.
“We worked it out and it wasn’t going to save some trees like we thought maybe it would,” Post said, but added the park’s design was focused on saving as many trees as possible. He said they had to cut down six trees to make way for the skatepark, but said they probably saved 12-15 trees with the final design.
“Typically (people build skate parks) at a barren site,” Post said. “This should be neat having the park surrounded by trees.”
For every tree that is cut down on park and recreation property, Post said it’s the city’s practice to plant three trees. He said in the spring the city plans to plant 20-25 trees at Centennial, Thonoff and Nuno parks. The snow storm earlier in the fall that damaged trees around town played a role in deciding where the new trees will go, Post said.
“It was quite a process to get the location down with the square footage and save as many trees as possible,” Post said.
The basketball and volleyball courts at Centennial Park have also been removed to make way for the skatepark. In the spring, however, the city will build two new regulation sand volleyball courts at Centennial, adding a second court to the park.
The ice rink at the park, meanwhile, is waiting on engineered drawings for the shade structure to get approved before it can be completed.
Post said the shade structure would extend the season, but added that they should still be able to build ice at the park like last year without the shade structures.
The playground is open at the park, but has been fenced off so it’s only accessible in place to avoid the construction. Post said they may have to close it later, but that will depend on the construction activities taking place.
Street improvements along Holman Avenue were also completed recently, providing structure to parking by creating parallel parking spots, Public Works Director David Lady, said. “This provides safety enhancements as park usage and Holman traffic increase in the future.”
The improvements also included a northbound bike lane which provides a buffer from the traffic and people parking. Additionally, stormwater improvements including curb, gutter and inlets were installed. The intersection with K Street was realigned which reduces traffic speed and provides safety benefits for drivers and pedestrians.
The recycling center was also inaccessible briefly due to construction of the paved driveway being constructed along the north property of Centennial Park from I Street to K Street. Lady said the recycling center can now be accessed from K Street.
Work on the aquatic center is ongoing. The locker rooms are nearing completion, but since they’d be closed anyway due to public health reasons Post said they’re “slowly completing the work in there.”
Other single-person bathrooms are open at the pool, however, which Post called much safer.
“We’re trying to manage our public health order and how people access the pool,” Post said. “We’re operating as we have since reopening and listening to public health about capacity.”
A splash pad, soaking pools and community center are also part of the park’s master plan.
The skatepark is next on the list. Post said the contractors plan on working through the fall and winter so the city is hoping to have an opening celebration in the spring.
The 14,000 square foot skatepark is being paid for with a $350,000 GOCO grant and $450,000 in matching funds from the City of Salida. Friends of the Salida Skateparks are also hoping to contribute about $15,000.