PORTLAND – The city’s first permanent skate park is still on the drawing boards six months after a Missouri company was picked to start building the controversial project last spring.

If city planners and engineers approve plans for the skate park within the next few weeks, Hardcore Shotcrete Skateparks could start construction in October and finish the project by mid-November, city officials said Thursday.

The city awarded the $240,000 project to Hardcore on Feb. 4 and said the park would by completed at Dougherty Field as early as May 1. However, concerns about the contractor selection process and continuing design changes have led to significant delays.

In recent weeks, city officials requested and Hardcore submitted detailed drainage plans for the skate park off Douglass Avenue, said Mike Bobinsky, public services director. Now, those plans are being reviewed by Woodard & Curran, a Portland firm that is developing a master plan to improve playing fields and other facilities at Dougherty Field.

“We want to make sure the projects work well together,” Bobinsky said. “We’re confident with the plan that Hardcore has given us.”

City planners and engineers are scheduled to meet with representatives of Hardcore and Woodard & Curran on Sept. 8, said City Councilor David Marshall, chairman of the skate park planning committee.

If planning officials approve the skate park plan soon after that meeting, Hardcore would be able to start construction within four weeks and complete the project in six weeks, Marshall said.

“I’m going to keep pressure on city staff to make sure this project gets completed, because now it seems that city approvals are the only things standing in the way,” Marshall said. “But we don’t want our skate park to be flooded and we don’t want it to have a negative impact on other facilities at Dougherty Field.”

Bobinsky was a bit more conservative in predicting the future of the skate park, saying that he hopes Hardcore will be able to start the project before the end of this construction season.

Representatives of Hardcore, which is based in Joplin, Mo., didn’t respond to a request for a telephone interview.

The concrete skate park will replace several movable wooden ramps that were installed in a city-owned parking lot on Marginal Way in the mid-1990s. The rotted and neglected ramps were removed in 2007 to make way for redevelopment in the Bayside neighborhood.

The concrete park will feature stairs, ledges and rails, along with more fluid terrain, such as embankments, rollers and quarter-pipes.

The city contributed $150,000 to the project, plus the land, which is valued at $75,000. The remaining $100,000 came from private contributions to a fund-raising campaign led by local skateboarding enthusiasts.

They are tired of waiting.

“I’m just kind of burnt out on the whole thing,” said Eli Cayer, a skate park planning committee member. “I want the best possible park for the city. I hope it’s done right and that it lasts a long time.” 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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