Local skateboarders will have to wait until at least August 2015 before skating in a new, state-of-the-art skate park.
The Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park has long been slated to move from its current home on Starr Avenue to a new facility in Donnelly Park. The new skate park will likely be bigger and better than the existing layout, offering a flowing series of trails while remaining dedicated to Koch, a longtime skateboarder and mentor to youth who died from adrenocortical cancer.
Though the move was approved in August 2013, plans have been put on hold due to the State of California. The City of Turlock used state grant funding to build the skate park, and may not move the park until August 2015, said Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Superintendent Erik Schulze.
Turlock city staff originally planned to begin construction on the skate park in November 2013, with an opening penciled in for April of this year.
The City of Turlock will, however, beginning planning for the new park this coming fall.
“Our goal is, come August, that we’ll start the process and start moving things,” Schulze said.
That includes beginning the design process for the new park. A citizen’s committee will begin to meet, and a contractor will be hired to help draft the design.
The city isn’t starting on the design now, Schulze said, as the money that will be used to design and build the new park is not yet in the city’s possession. That money will come from the sale of the old 900 N. Palm St. Turlock Police Department to the Turlock Irrigation District; the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park and the Turlock War Memorial both share a parcel with the Police Department, and will be sold as well.
Also, Schulze noted, the trends in designing skateparks change quickly. What is cutting-edge today could be outdated by the time construction starts.
“I’d hate to sit on a design for a year and a half,” Schulze said.
The City of Turlock will likely be without a skate park for two months in the November 2015-February 2016 timeframe, as the current park is deconstructed and the new park is built.
Until the move, the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park on Starr Avenue will continue to operate normally.