Local News

Mar 3, 2010 10:09 PM by Ariel Wesler

Guadalupe considers building its first skatepark

Skaters in Guadalupe may have a new place to play in the future.

The city is looking at building its first skatepark. Several locations are on the table, including local schools and parks, but the idea is an expensive one and likely still years away.

Kids looking to skateboard in Guadalupe have limited options.

"We skate on stairs around town and stuff but usually cops kick us out," said Angel Soto of Santa Maria.

"We get a lot of complaints from business owners because kids are out in front of their establishments," said Ron Estabillo, Guadalupe Parks and Recreation Director

It's also become a safety issue for daring skaters.

"Sometimes even on the railroad tracks, they'll build a ramp and try to skate over those things," Estabillo said.

The city planning commission first raised the idea to give those skaters a home. The list of possible places includes O'Connel Park, Central Park, Leroy Park, McKenzie Junior High School, Buren elementary, and the proposed DJ farms housing project.

"The city wasn't prepared to do one at this time," said Regan Candelario, Guadalupe City Administrator

Finding funding is the colossal challenge. Depending on the size, skateparks can cost from $200,000 to $400,000.

So, when the Tony Hawk foundation heard about the plan, the group offered the city $25,000.

"They want to help cities and communities develop skateparks that actually work for the youth, that are developed in a way that are conducive to kids actually accessing the park and accessing them safely," Candelario said.

While its a good start, the city will likely need much more community support to put the plan in motion.

"If there's somebody out there that's got a lot of money and doesn't know what to do with it, donate it and we can get our skatepark here in Guadalupe," Estabillo said.

Hopeful they can make this half pipe dream a reality.

City leaders say another possible funding source could be a state grant. Fletcher Park in Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Valley YMCA are currently the two closest skating areas.

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