Skate park plans move forward

School district, rec district to hammer out a lease for land

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/15/21

A skate park in Idaho Springs has moved a step closer to reality. The Clear Creek school board on Nov. 11 directed Superintendent Karen Quanbeck to begin working with the Clear Creek Metropolitan …

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Skate park plans move forward

School district, rec district to hammer out a lease for land

Posted

A skate park in Idaho Springs has moved a step closer to reality.

The Clear Creek school board on Nov. 11 directed Superintendent Karen Quanbeck to begin working with the Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District on a 25-year lease contract that would allow a skate park north of the former middle school.

The school board will discuss the tentative contract at its work session set for 11:30 a.m. Jan. 13. Agendas and Zoom link information can be found on the School Board tab at ccsdre1.org.

The school board met with rec district and Mountain Youth Network representatives on Nov. 11 to talk about the skate park idea now that Clear Creek voters approved a $33 million bond that will allow the former middle school to be turned into an elementary school. District officials didn't want to promise the site for a skate park until they knew they would be keeping the land rather than selling the property.

The rec district is submitting a Great Outdoors Colorado grant application to help fund the skate park, and school district officials promised a letter to attach to the application saying the two organizations are working out the lease terms and conditions.

Once funding is found to build the skate park, the rec district has pledged to be responsible for maintenance.

A group of skateboard enthusiasts including Clear Creek High School students has formed the Skate Board, and it is instrumental in driving the skate park proposal. They have done several demonstrations in Idaho Springs and started a petition that now has more than 1,000 signatures.

Skate Board representatives at the October school board meeting explained that there weren't many things for teens to do in Idaho Springs, and a skate park would give them a new activity. Idaho Springs no longer has a skate park, and skaters — the term for someone who rides a skateboard — get kicked out of other places.

They called the former middle the perfect place for a skate park because it's centrally located, easy to get to and not near many homes, so it wouldn't disturb neighbors.

At last week's meeting, school board members asked about lighting, supervision and a way to separate the skate park from the playground that will be nearby. Quanbeck also said community engagement was important, suggesting at least one meeting with neighbors and community members to explain the plan and to get feedback.

School board member Erica Haag said she was concerned about community members skateboarding while school was in session, noting it was something that needed to be discussed.

Board member Kelly Flenniken added: “How do we provide that safe distance (between the skate park and the school) and ensure proper etiquette?”

Cameron Marlin, the rec district's executive director, said skate park supervision would need to be discussed because she was concerned that supervision would undermine the park's value. She wanted to balance something that was conducive to skate park culture and but also kept kids safe.

Flenniken countered: “I would feel better if there was an onsite person during school hours. I appreciate the skateboard culture and know it's not bad. As school board and elementary school leaders, our primary obligation is to families and kids. Parents are already nervous about moving to a new location.”

Quanbeck suggested that if Carlson Elementary School had a WatchD.O.G.S. program, which has male parents or family members volunteering in the building each day, those volunteers might be able to take on some of the supervisory duty.

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