The Sherman Parks and Recreation Department gathered recommendations from the community Thursday for a planned $250,000 update to its skate park at Hawn Park.
Skating enthusiasts of many ages from throughout the area attended an input session Thursday afternoon at the Parks and Recreation office next to Martin Luther King Jr. Park. In addition to the representatives from the city, build contractor SPA Skate parks and designers New Line Skate parks were also on hand to gather information for the planned work.
“They design and build skate parks all across Texas — they designed the one in McKinney and Kerrville and some other places,” Parks and Recreation Manager Theresa Hutchinson said. “We’re trying to find out if there are any particular types of features that they (community members) want in the skate park — like a halfpipe or a quarter pipe or a certain type of rail. We’re just trying to get some input from the people that currently use our skate park or have been to other skate parks — what they like, what they don’t like.”
Local skaters Pogo Conspiracy and Bailey Belcher said they were excited to see SPA and New Line were involved as “they build great parks.” Logan Beauchamp said he was impressed by the turnout for the event Thursday.
“I’m here to advocate for both skateboarders and musicians in the area,” Beauchamp said. “I feel like this park does need to be designed by skateboarders and it looks like the city does feel that way too. There’s also a large underground music element here in this town that doesn’t have a place to play and that’s why I showed up. I want to be part of the voice for that group.”
New Line’s Bill Gurney said the participation from the community at this stage was going to be an asset to the planned park.
“The whole point of these exercises is determining what are the consensus priorities,” Gurney said, before taking a look at the dots added to different features to indicate a preference for certain features. “It certainly looks like a minicamp halfpipe is a popular one.”
SPA’s Yann Curtis said the $250,000 budget the city has planned for the project should be enough to make local skaters happy.
“It’s going to be a great skate park for sure,” Curtis said. “We’ve done a lot of skate parks in that $250,000 range, similar to what we’ve been given here. It’s not like we’re scrambling to do something good. These are obviously well-versed proper skaters, so they have expectations. So with a $250,000 skate park, we can now meet those expectations for sure.”
Hutchinson explained the skate park at Hawn Park, which is located at 1202 S. Dewey Ave., was originally built in 2000.
“In 2008, we were able to replace some of the wood and metal ramps that we had installed,” Hutchinson said. “They had deteriorated over time from use and weather and whatnot. Since 2008, we really haven’t been able to upgrade the skate park at all, just basically because of funding.”
She said when the city held community input meetings for the update to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan last year, a new skate park was the No. 1 thing requested by citizens.
“It is a pretty close-knit community that (uses the) skate park,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said the Parks and Recreation Board will work with SPA Skate parks to finalize the design of the renovations.
“The actual construction process is 150 days but that’s once the design is finalized and everything like that,” she said, noting there’s no end date to announce for the work. “I hate to really throw out a specific date, but once everything’s finalized, it’ll be 150 days.”
In addition to the existing skate park, Hawn Park also has a walking trail, sand volleyball court, playground equipment and the spray ground popular with children during the summer months.