Avid skaters hunting for places to grind, perform ollies and carves will soon find a home as Los Angeles County officials move forward with opening a skate park next summer at Crescenta Valley Park.
Austin Seo, 17, welcomes the park, noting that police officers and property owners often shoo skaters away from parking lots and schools.
“We were just a couple of kids trying to enjoy ourselves,” Austin said.
The Honolulu Avenue park will cost a little more than $1 million, funded by the county Board of Supervisors. Officials estimate staffing and maintenance costs at about $79,000 per year.
Design plans for the 10,000-square-foot park include features such as rails, ramps and “grind boxes.” Two bleacher areas will be installed outside of the enclosed park. The area was designed to accommodate all skill levels of not just skaters, officials say, but scooter enthusiasts.
“This is a feature a lot of young people in different parts of Los Angeles County would like to see in parks,” county Parks and Recreation spokesman Andre Herndon said. “What we want is to provide a safe place for young people to enjoy this sport.”
The idea for a skate park started more than three years ago. La Crescenta native Cooper Iven formed a committee of young skateboarders to campaign for the park with help from resident Mary O’ Keefe.
Seo said the park will shield other skater enthusiasts from the troubles he’s faced over the years.
“They can have a safe place to go,” Austin said. “That kept motivating us to try and get the skate park finished.”
Supervisor Mike Antonovich has been a vocal supporter of the project, noting the park’s idea originated and was supported by the community, said spokesman Tony Bell.
And skaters, like 18-year-old Corbin Southworth, are pleased as well. The Glendale Community College student picked up a skateboard five years ago after watching the X Games. He praised the park as a place for more than just skateboarders.
“Now, that we’ll have a place to actually skate is really nice,” Southworth said. “Now, we’re just waiting for it.”
And Austin knows where he will be on the skate park’s opening day.
“Of course, I will be there. Absolutely,” he said.
Follow Alicia Banks on Twitter: @AliciaDotBanks.