The City of Turlock is in talks to move the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park to the heart of Donnelly Park, incorporating a new, more modern design in the process.
The move would come as part of the discussed sale of both the Skate Park and the War Memorial to the Turlock Irrigation District.
The potential sale of both the War Memorial and Skate Park became public at a June 12 meeting of the Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Commission. At that time, Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Manager Allison Van Guilder revealed that the two facilities are part of closed-door negotiations currently taking place, related to previously-announced negotiations that would sell the Turlock Police Department site to TID.
The Skate Park's new location was chosen based on feedback received during a contentious, ultimately failed process to site a bocce ball court in Turlock, Van Guilder said.
“A lot of the concerns that neighborhoods have were fresh and foremost in our minds,” Van Guilder said. “It's our determination that the only reasonable location at this particular point in time would be Donnelly Park.”
Donnelly Park was recommended as the park is classified as a community park, not a neighborhood park. Community parks are planned as sites for amenities which will draw people from across town, while neighborhood parks are intended more as a communal backyard.
Donnelly Park is also located near the Turlock Regional Transit Center, accommodating bus riders, and features restrooms and benches.
The new skate park's design would likely integrate with the natural landscape, featuring a series of flowing trails and paths. Only some of the existing features at the Turlock Skate Park would be moved; most would be replaced.
“You'll see a much different design that what you see in traditional skate parks,” said Erik Schulze, Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Department Superintendent. “… We don't have a plan yet, but we've seen some of the new things going on.”
The final design would be developed in partnership with the community and a professional skate park design company, Schulze said, though a “strict budget” would keep the park from being the area's biggest or best. The budget has not yet been determined, and would be set based on proceeds from the sale of the existing skate park.
TID staff have declined to comment on the district's plans for the current Skate Park site, or for the War Memorial.
The Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Commission is expected to hold a public hearing to finalize the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park's move to Donnelly Park at 6 p.m. July 10 in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.
Turlock in Talks to Sell War Memorial, Skate Park to TID