Skateboard park 80 percent complete - due to open in July

Construction on Kingman's long-awaited skateboard park facility is about 80 percent complete.

"We are pleased with the construction.

It is going well.

We are looking to having the skateboard park built by the middle of July," said Kingman Parks & Recreation Director Darel Fruwirth.

The city polled citizen groups and skaters to determine what features should be included in the new facility, located on the northeast corner of Firefighters Memorial Park.

The designs and working drawings were completed by Lawrence Moss & Associates of Glendale, Calif., a firm that has designed several skateparks throughout the Southwest, Fruhwirth said.

The park will have two-foot walls, embankments, snake-runs, bowls, and small and large pyramids, among other features.

The City Council last year approved $150,000, and then $168,500, to build the new skateboard park, but when the city advertised for a qualified construction company to build the skatepark,

bids from contractors were nearly double that amount.

When the project was rebid, T.R.

Orr won the contract with a bid of $218,900.

"The skateboard park will be a welcome addition to the community.

Something competitive and challenging for the young people," said Royce Williams, human resources and risk management director for the city of Kingman.

Williams said he had heard that skateparks were a risky venture, but upon further investigation found that not to be the case.

"There did not appear to be a lot of claims at skateparks," Williams said.

He said he believes it is far safer to have a facility where young people can skate rather than "have them skating on sidewalks and streets all over town."

Williams, who arranges insurance for the city, said the added insurance for the skatepark was "not that much" and was included in a general liability policy.

"It was a new quote we got for the first time with AJS Insurance.

The city pays $270,000 a year," he said.

Williams said insurance is not a small-budget item but covers everything run by the city, including city-operated vehicles such as police cars, fire engines and sanitation trucks; liability for paramedics; several city departments, including the water department; and insurance for all city employees.

"We recognize the hazards and risks and address them.

It's like the (city-operated) swimming pool.

We want people to be able to swim, but there is no high-dive," Williams said.

"This skatepark does not have some of the more dangerous features I have seen in some larger skateparks."

Fruwirth has also seen the need for a skateboard park in Kingman.

"I have seen kids skating on curbs, sidewalks and private property.

The kids have not had a place to utilize their skills.

This will give them a place," he said.

The 12,000-square-foot park will be open and free to the public, as are other city recreational facilities such as basketball courts and ball fields, Fruwirth said.

He said the good thing about building the skatepark at Firefighters Memorial Park is that rest rooms and a parking area are already in place.

"The entire family can come to the park.

Younger children can play on the playground equipment at Firefighters Park while teens skate at the skate park.

Parents can also be a part of the experience," Fruwirth said.