The first phase of an approximately $1 million community-wide skate park in Arlington is underway and expected to be complete by the end of January.Construction workers were doing site preparation at Vandergriff Park to complete the first half of construction for Vandergriff Skatepark, which will be the first of its kind in the city.
Video: Vandergriff Skatepark construction
Approved in September 2011, the 40,000-square-foot park will provide a skateboarding and rollerblading destination for residents within 15 minutes of the city’s linear park trail network. “Vangergriff is centrally located, and it’s going to be our largest skate park in Arlington. It’ll rival what McKinney just did with the completion of their 30,000-square-foot park,” park project manager Jason Landrem said. The first phase, 20,000 square feet, will feature a street plaza, butterfly bowl and snake run for all levels of skaters but geared toward intermediate skaters. Phase 2 is more of a beginner area, but the entire skate park will serve 7-year-olds to young adults, Landrem said.The the first half of the skate park was paid for by the 2008 bond program and gas revenue funds, but the city doesn’t have money to complete the project in its entirety yet. Landrem said money for the next phase could come out of another bond election and gas revenue funds. Staffers with Newline Skate Parks, the same designer for the McKinney Skate Park, are selecting different-colored concrete and working to incorporate the city of Arlington’s official logo. Burl L. Wilkes Skate Spot near New York Avenue and Park Row Drive was completed last month, providing a 2,500-square-foot area for beginners to hone their skills. The 5,000-square-foot Cody Rocamontes Memorial Skate Park at Randol Mill Park is geared toward intermediate skaters, Landrem said. Landrem, who oversaw the building of the Burl L. Wilkes skate site, said he has a special interest in building skate parks because he enjoys the challenge of creating something new to the city. “I’ve kind of honed into skate park construction,” he said. “It’s basically a work of art.”Arlington plans to build 30 skate parks over the next 15-20 years. Northstar Construction out of Fort Worth is the general contractor, and SPA Skateparks out of Austin is a specialized contractor.
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792 Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST