Visit the Lakewood Skatepark!
Below is a photo of the area where the bowl/flow section will be built.
The Long Haul...
The idea of having a skatepark in Lakewood is not new and has a long history especially compared to other nearby communities. Below is a brief synopsis of the evolution of this project.
May 18, 1986**
Headline “Parents and police at odds over skateboards in Lakewood” police start arresting kids for skateboarding in the streets of Lakewood.
1988**article written by Dana Canedy
Eleven year old Lakewood resident Eric Weber dies from a skateboard collision near Madison ave. and Woodward ave., city considers designating an area for skateboarding.
Oct. 2 1997*
Skate Park advocacy group Homeless Wheels Starts ball rolling.
Negative attitudes arise out of proposed site behind Burger King. Mayor Cain quoted saying “If we start attracting problem kids or are getting graffiti or any kind of problems, we will close it down.”
Jan. 29, 1998*
Task Force formed to help develop the skate park of both city employees and area residents.
Land behind Burger King is leased by Post Office, could be problem.
May 7, 1988*
Poll conducted by Lakewood Youth Congress showed overwhelming support for Skate Park. Of 102 adults 85 percent said they are “in favor of the construction of a multi-use skate park facility.” The survey was conducted in the impacted area.
Jan 18, 2001*
Lakewood plans to renovate Lakewood Park and initiates a five phase system with the skate park to be constructed in the 4 phase.
$144,000 is budgeted from the 5.5 million dollar project for construction of the skate park.
Skate park site to be between playground and woman pavilion.
May 10, 2001*
Lakewood community web site conducts survey with 72 percent in favor of a skate park in the plans for Lakewood Park.
Aribica coffee (strongly opposed location) shop and Elmwood residents are believed to be reason that skate park project never reached city council vote.
July 5, 2001*
Lakewood Buzz 75% in favor of Lakewood Park Skate Park
Nov. 29, 2001*
City planners move skate park area to west end of Lakewood Park and to increase size from 8,000 to 12,000 sq. ft. to accommodate more people.
Dec. 27, 2001*
City council reviews plans for Lakewood Park and acknowledge the skate parks existence in the plan.
Stage-by-stage implementation was initially hoped to take five years. Cain said in its current form, the proposal could be “more like an eight-year plan.”
The plan has been sent back to the planning commission for further review.
The Homeless Wheels becomes the Lakewood Skaters Association and is formed to become an association for skaters, by skaters. One of the main purposes is to get the planned skatepark moving.
Sun Newspaper reports that the Mayor has hired architecture firm Brandstetter, Carroll, Zofcin to design and engineer the skatepark.
January 18th, 2003
Mayor Cain and Public Works Director Bill Boag hold a public workshop with the skaters and the architect.
February 2nd, 2003
City appoints a panel of experienced skaters and community members to help guide the design process.
April 1st, 2003
Brandstetter Carrol presents the initial design based on the input gathered from the first public meeting. The skaters and community members followed up with another round of feedback and design input.
A small group of tennis people launch a successful campaign to put a hold on the skatepark plans as they apply to the existing tennis courts. In one month they are able to do what was deemed impossible to do... alter the Lakewood Park Master Plan. We had been told that there was no way to alter it and that we should be happy with what we have. But somehow, a small group of apparently powerful folks stepped in to get their needs met instantly! So the planning and documention that had been done on the skatepark would now have to be redone to fit the new area south of the tennis courts. We also ended up with slightly less space, but a little more freedom. In the short term it was a huge setback, but the LSA would rather have a skatepark than mess with any powerful people so we worked within the NEW master plan.
Newly elected Lakewood Mayor Tom George appoints new acting Public Works Director Anthony Beno. Brandstetter Carrol appoints Pat Thornton, new Project Manager to the project.
Mayor George and Council up the skatepark budget to $300,000 which should completely cover the rest of the expenses for the skatepark construction!
After several months of re-measuring, re-engineering, and redesigning the LSA and the architect have come up with a new skatepark plan that fits the new area and within the budget.
A few city council members want to revisit the Lakewood Park Master Plan to see if the Skatepark should still go in there. The Committee of the Whole votes to send the park back to the Planning Commission for another look which would effectively kill the park for the near future. Many ideas are tossed about as far as moving the park to another location or putting it back a year. But after much discussion and meeting with the individual council members, the LSA was able to prove to the council and the public that the park should go in as planned.
Bid Notice is given and 2 contractors responded with bids. M3D Skateparks of Columbus and F. Buddy Construction of Cleveland are the only bidders. M3D has a proven skatepark record but wasn't the low bidder. F. Buddy will be doing their first skatepark and will work closely with the city and the LSA to ensure a quality job. The bowl and flow area are broken in to phase two for budget and technical reasons. Cost of the street section (Phase One) is about $160K. (doesnt include cost of demolition and site prep)
Skatepark construction is complete! The concrete is perfect and the design was followed to exacting degree. Grand Opening is held May 13th 2005.
*dates are in reference to dates articles were in the Sun News.
**dates are in reference to dates articles were in the Plain Dealer