Skateboarders have a month to brush up on a batch of new extreme tricks, in time for the opening of the New Tampa Skate Park.
Team Pain, a skate park design-build company that employs young skaters to do the work, is on schedule to complete the course next to the New Tampa Recreation Center by mid-March, project manager Brad Suder said.
The course will open to the public shortly after the construction workers conduct a series of test runs and city inspectors give the final OK, which should take a few more days.
The word is getting out, and skaters are ready to dive in, city and skate park officials said.
“We get good advertising when they drive by on school buses from the middle school and high school,” said Mark Staffieri, a senior project manager at Cutler Associates, the general contractor.
“Several kids stop by frequently to see what’s going on. The public interest is there.”
Craters, ledges and dips stretch across the half-acre site at the New Tampa Community Park, next to the Liberty Middle/Freedom High schools campus on Commerce Park Boulevard.
City inspector Chuck Fernette estimated 300 yards of concrete will be poured to create the extreme obstacle course.
The 15,000-square-foot park is designed to appeal to skaters of all skill levels.
Based on the design, the course features elements probably most suited for the intermediate skater, but there is plenty for beginners and advance skaters to like, Team Pain foreman Lance Spiker said.
The course has a bowl that resembles a swimming pool with two depths – a 5-foot-deep section and a 7-foot-deep section. Course designer Tito Porrata turned down requests in the planning stage to design a deeper one.
Skaters can disappear off the top rim, down the steep wall and into the bowl then resurface on the opposite end, where they will prepare to tackle a street course of elements.
The design includes a series of quarter-pipe turns that allow skaters to flow from one element to the next.
The course will test a skater’s skill and agility handling pyramids, stairs, curbs, handrails, ledges, banks and hips.
The skate park will feature elements and obstacles skaters are likely to encounter on the street or outside of an office building, without being hassled or chased away.
“We make them more user-friendly,” Spiker said.
City park officials and design consultants from Team Pain met with area skaters for more than a year to get their input on the design.
Despite efforts to cap the budget at $500,000, the addition of stadium lighting for nighttime use and fencing pushed construction costs to nearly $700,000.
Although early discussions included BMX bike riders, those plans changed when city officials cited a concern about the potential damage the bikes could do to the park.
The city awarded the contract in August to Team Pain, headquartered in Winter Springs near Orlando.
Most of the 12 young men assigned to build the skate park in New Tampa are from Florida and Colorado.
“All of the guys doing the concrete work are all skaters,” Staffieri said. “They know what they are doing.” This is going to be a great skatepark!