Beginners, spectators and experienced shredders will all have something to claim in the design for Lenexa’s new skatepark that was unveiled Tuesday night.
The new facility at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park is designed to have a flow that puts features more accessible for beginners near the entrance, then moving gradually to tougher features farther in, designer Kanten Russell told city councilmembers.
The new skatepark will be just east of the current one
- The idea is to build ramps, rails and steps so that skaters will have someplace to ply their skills without taking to downtown streets, Russell said.
- The new park will have an entrance plaza with shade and spectator seating that will flow into the lower-speed beginner features.
- Further in will be the rails and curbs, plus meandering ripples and a bowl for higher-level tricks.
- There will also be additional landscaping and color elements that the existing park doesn’t have, he said, making the park feel more natural.
Designers want a skatepark for all skill levels
- Russell, a former professional skateboarder and senior designer for Canada-based New Line Skateparks which specializes in municipal skateparks, said their design incorporates the wishes of users for a facility that can accommodate all skill levels and have an improved look.
- Parks from the 1970s were, “kind of gray and prison-like with big fences. What we’re trying to create now is a little bit more integrated, a little bit more community friendly and definitely to accommodate a lot of different age groups and levels,” he said.
The new park could bear a retro name
- City park officials will also consider whether to name the new park after a 1970s-era Lenexa skatepark called Rolling Magic.
- That park, once located near 95th Street and Interstate 35, no longer exists but was popular in its heyday, according to the city, but is now an empty lot.
Not everything the community wanted is in the plan
- The new facility for skateboarders, bicyclists, rollerbladers and scooters is part of a slew of big projects in the works for Sar-Ko-Par’s park and public swimming pool area.
- The existing skatepark, a 20-year-old set of concrete ramps and slopes, lies just north and downhill from the pool.
- The new skatepark design is the product of extensive community input through in-person workshops and an on-line survey.
- The park includes most of the elements people said they wanted, including the bowl, but the requested pump track – a rolling series of bumps often used by bicyclists – would have required more space than was available, Russell said.
The current skatepark will stay open for now
- The new 12,750-square-foot park is in the city’s budget for $1.1 million, but about $250,000 of that is for additional parking, said parks director Logan Wagler, which will go on the site of the current skatepark.
- The plan is to keep the existing park open for as much of the construction as possible, Wagler said.
- Construction is expected to begin this spring with the park ready to use this summer.
Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist who reports frequently for the Post and other Kansas City area publications. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.