Skatepark Update Page
Greetings fellow skaters, parents and concerned citizens. Here are the latest entries to what is discussed in the Skatepark Committees meeting; both among ourselves and with the cities Parks Department.
June 30 2011 – The discussion of the skatepark has been dormant for quite a while at this point. A committee of concerned skaters was reconstituted and we met with city parks dept official to be brought up to speed on where we stand as far as what will happen to the skatepark when theMeadowcreek Parkway is built.
At this point it is finally confirmed that the Parkway project is going forward and that work scheduling is being done. As we already knew, the width ofMcIntire Rd is going to be widened and will consume most of the land that McIntire Skatepark is on. Therefore, the skatepark must be moved.
The committee was charged with proposing at least three sites that we though were good locations for the new skatepark.
July 22 2011 – It has always been the vision of Duane’s thatCharlottesville have the “biggest and best” skatepark inVirginia. The committee therefore presented the idea of “A world class skatepark for a world class city”.Charlottesville has been the recipient of numerous national as well as global awards and citations over the years. The committee believes that our new skatepark should reflect the high standards in which our city is recognized.
The committee also motioned to move forward in a positive light, employing community friendly design concepts and better environment for the area youth. Utilizing a conservation approach to the new skatepark plan the “Green Skate Project” was set in motion. Please read about the environmentally friendly attributes of the Green Skate Project here.
The committee also brought up the possibility of having other skate spots/ dots located in other city parks. These would be unattended areas that had legal skatable elements such as ledges, benches or other features.
Aug 19 2011 – Discussion of positives and negatives of all the park areas in the city that will accommodate the size of proposed skatepark. The three best options at this point areWashington park (at the lower field), East McIntire and Rives. Washington and East McIntire both have available water, parking, bathrooms and shaded areas. East McIntire also already has a building for pad storage. Rives is close to a bus route but has no other amenities except for space.
It is possible that theMcIntire Rd intersection will come under construction before estimated and may start as soon as early summer 2012. We will need to get a temporary location secured before that time so that there is a place to skate while the permanent park is being planned.
A project of this size must go through either a particular parks master planning process or city council or both. The skatepark committee is planning to pursue all options open to it.
We also presented the layout for the temporary skatepark and identified the pieces that would have to be put in storage.
Sept 30 2011 – great news today from the parks dept. The construction company in charge of the Meadowcreek Parways interchange project is contracted to cover $255,000 toward the moving of the skatepark. In addition the city’s 2012 budget will add additional funding. We are well on our way to providing the needed funding for our new skatepark! We have additional fundraising ideas that need a little hashing out and don’t forget; if you have an idea for fundraising we’d really like to here from you. You can pipe in here on our Questions and Comments Page.
The committee is still in need of a site for the temporary park. Ideally it would be a couple of fairly unused tennis courts or basketball courts (we would like to spend as little as possible on this phase in order to secure the most funding for the permanent skatepark. Therefore it would be advantageous not to have to pour a slab.
The permanent home for the new skatepark is still up in the air. The committee has decided to make a proposal for the East McIntire Master Plan. We also will move to include the skatepark in other pending Master Plans but will focus on the previously decided optimal locations most; McIntire East and Washington park being the two best options.
Oct 18 2011 – Today we discussed preparation for the East McIntire Master Plan meeting on Oct 24th. We are going to present our proposal for the permanent location for the skatepark to be included in this plan.
We also discussed further the location of the temporary park. Some of our options have been eliminated such as the Albemarle County Office building and the Ix property. We have decided to go before city council to bring more attention to the issue. A private property location is not out of the question. If you have any suggestions please submit them on the Questions and Comments Page here.
Oct 24th 2011 -East McIntire Master Plan Meeting #1 - The Skatepark Committee attended the East McIntire master plan meeting at the MLK Performing Arts Center. Duane Brown spoke on our behalf and made the specific points that McIntire Skatepark is already located inMcIntirePark and so should remain inMcIntirePark. He also explained that the current size of our skatepark is 20,000 sqft but according to the size of the area it serves it is recommended to be 50,000 sqft.
There is also a fairly large contingent for keeping the golf course. Other individuals that spoke represented the ideas of the botanical gardens, nature trails and even football fields. There were also people that spoke up for the multi-use court that is next to the skatepark which has seen a dramatic array of uses over the years.
In addition to Duane several others spoke up for the skatepark so we got very good representation. Alex even got in our tag line “a world class skatepark for a world class city”.
Nov 2nd 2011- Duane and Alex went to participate in the East McIntire Park tour. The tour was given to familiarize park advocates of the layout of the park and to clarify things such as where exactly the road is going to be, where the footbridge over the rail road will be including trail, where the golf course is (and isn’t) and where all the more secluded wooded areas and paths are in the park. Also it was explained how the Viet Nam Memorial will be improved and made much easier for our honorable veterans and the general public to get to.
This was a very interesting tour and there are a few really good options for the skatepark location.EastMcIntireParkis a very large park (75 acres) and although it obviously can’t accommodate every idea, dream or whim, there is enough space to accommodate quite an array of different interests. In speaking with some of the other ‘tourist’ it seemed that everyone else felt the same.
One of the problems that the park faces is access; specifically automobile access as foot traffic will be well improved with the foot bridge. There will be new parking available on theMelbourneend but the quirky situation on the bypass end is difficult to improve because of road layout, the interchange footprint and existing structures. Hopefully someone can come up with an idea. You guys have any?
All in all this is a premium location and the Skatepark Committee is going to continue to push this venue.
As a side note, if you walk over to the top of Suicide Hill you can clearly see the start of the construction of the Parkway. The road will follow along the creek at the very bottom of the hill. Incidentally, there are very few places in the entire park that the Parkway will even be visible. As it was pointed out by our ‘guide’, the places you will be able to see the road you can already see housing complexes and radio towers. As a whole, the new road is not as intrusive as some claim other than the land itself that the road will consume.
Dec 12th 2011- East McIntire Master Plan Meeting #2 -
The McIntire Skatepark Committee (MSC) attended the East McIntire master planning meeting at CHS. The objective this time was plotting out and mapping an area in East McIntire that would accommodate and be a good fit for the skatepark.
The Parks Dept had set up 11 tables with a detailed topo map of the entire park. The room broke up into groups for each table in order to work out plans to fit all the individual interests in the park. Each table had advocates from different groups such as golfers, botanical garden proponents, nature trail proponents, playing field proponents and of course skateboarders. Thanks to the efforts of Dan Z-man the MSC had recruited enough extra help to have a representative at each table. The skatepark had been allocated 2 ACRES as a starting point by the parks dept (that’s really good – for those of you not too familiar with acreage).
In some cases there was considerable disagreement between each faction about how much space was going to be used for what, or if certain groups were allocated any space at all. Some tables seemed to move along smoother than others.
At the end of the night each table made a short presentation of how they had laid everything out on their map and why. I am happy and proud to report that the skatepark made it onto every map from each table!
All in all the evening went very well for the skatepark committee. Our next meeting for the master planning stage will come up in January. We are also going to hopefully be meeting soon about the space for the temporary skatepark and we will keep you posted.
Two important notes: First; EVERYONE please email the city in support of the skatepark being located in East McIntire Park. You can send your email to email@example.com. Please be POSITIVE and civil as well as supportive. The more emails the city gets the better our chances for the park being located in East McIntire AND the better our chances for a BIGGER, BETTER skatepark inCharlottesville – A World Class Skatepark for a World Class City.
Also, if anyone has ideas about where we can put the temporary skatepark please put in your comments on our Comments Page. We are still brainstorming our options and need to come up with a location. We are preferably looking for a flat area about 1000 square feet (about the size of two tennis courts – half the size of our current skatepark) that is already paved. We are considering city properties but are also looking into the feasibility of utilizing private property under city insurance – more on that option later; cross your fingers.
Jan. 23 2012 McIntire Park Master Plan Meeting #3 -
On January 23, 2012, Charlottesville Parks and Rec. presented concept diagrams for the McIntire Park which were drawn by a local landscape architect. He used the 11 Charette Maps completed during the December 12 meeting as a guide.
First, they presented a map that indicated the placement for the common elements from all 11 Charette Maps. That map was then used to present 3 different concepts which divided the remaining land among the more contentious requests.
Good news: the skatepark was considered a common element because it was included in all 11 Charette Maps. A 2+ acre skatepark was placed in the southwest corner where currently sits a parking lot. It was also a common element to allow emergency access only from 250. The skatepark will be close to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the railroad tracks to the other side of the park where ample parking exists.
The skatepark committee decided to sit back and refrain from comment pending disagreement about other entities interests unrelated to the skatepark. The evening ended with all participants voting on his/her preferred concept.
Feb. 7 2012 Skatepark Committee Meeting -
The Skatepark Committee met with the parks department and ‘park and trail planner’ Chris Gensic. Chris updated us on where we currently stand.
- He is reasonably confident the skatepark will be approved for McIntire Park
- If all goes well, the plan for the park should be approved by Fall
- If the Golf vs. Botanical Garden disagreement holds up the process, we have a chance to have the skatepark approved separately
- Once approval is obtained, one option for the temporary skatepark is the current parking lot in East McIntire. This would be graded and repaved of course.
- If another temporary location is needed he feels the Penn Park parking lot is the best option
- The last public meeting will be Feb. 28 at Martin Luther King Performing Arts at 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 2012 McIntire Park Master Plan Meeting #4 -
The final master plan meeting was fairly uneventful and was mostly comprised of comments in support for the golf course and First Tee program. There was a slight change in the three ‘concept diagrams’ in that one is now all botanical gardens with a small aquatic area, another is a golf course with open space/ trail areas and the last is a smaller golf course surrounded by a botanical garden and also includes a small aquatic area and 1 acre multi use field.
The good news is that the “Common Elements” Diagram has not changed. This is the diagram that contains elements that are a part of all other diagrams. It includes the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, a parking lot on theMelbourne Rdend of the park, the foot bridge across the railroad tracks and, most importantly to us, the skatepark.
March 26th 2012, Parks and Rec Advisory Board Meeting –
The skatepark committee attended the advisory boards reviewing for recommendations for the development of East McIntire. This meeting was to present concerns and wishes to board so that they in turn can make recommendations to city council on the overall plan for the future of East McIntire.
Dan and Duane presented a presentation on behalf of the skating community. The main points that were stressed in the presentation were:
- The skatepark needs to be relocated with a minimum of closure time and we believe East McIntire is a very well suited location.
- We want to make sure that the size and features of the park are not reduced as with the last ‘renovation’ (the newer features that replaced the original ramps are less than 50% in number and are also mostly smaller in size).
- We hope that the skatepark will also be modernized by incorporating concrete construction and design concepts. We also hope that the skatepark can be increased in size in accordance to recommendations for a community of our size: at least 50,000 square feet (the current skatepark is only 20,000 sq ft and the area layout is not optimally utilized).
Several other skaters attended the meeting and stood up to present their opinions and concerns for our skatepark.
The Advisory Board will hold a meeting on April 18th to ask any questions they may have to group representatives before making there recommendations to City Council.
All concerned skaters and parents should be sure to leave a comment on the city website at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our skatepark ‘Ideas Page’ here if you have ideas you would like to share on anything related to the skatepark, including features you would like to see, how you feel about the move, what you would like to see changed and so on.
If you would like to leave a general comment not pertaining to skatepark ideas or features, or you have a question that you don’t see covered here, please visit our Questions and Comments Page here.
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