Children and Youth

Council OK’s additional $72K for skate park expansion

Money to fund resurfacing work; city to consider additional "skate spots" to offer more areas for skaters to ride

The Hollister City Council on Tuesday approved a supplemental appropriation of $72,000 to pay for the resurfacing of old basketball courts at Veteran's Memorial Park that will become part of the newly-expanded skateboard park. 

Don Chapin Company resurfaced the court, which City Manager William Avera said was "unskatable." The work was needed before new skate ramps and related equipment are installed at the facility. Meanwhile, city staff will request funding for "skate spots" distributed throughout the city to provide more permitted skating areas for skateboarders, some of whom have drawn ire for skating on public property like the Veteran's Memorial Building downtown and San Benito High School's campus.

A staff report said the skate spots "are much smaller than a traditional skate park and are generally dual-purpose that includes benches and seating areas." The locations have yet to be determined, though proposals will be forwarded to the city's Park and Recreation Commission, which will make final proposals to the council. One potential location is the site of the original skateboard ramp at Dunne Park. Avera noted that his father installed that ramp years ago.

A skate spot at Dunne Park was suggested because "it is in close proximity to downtown and should reduce teh interface between businesses and skaters," the staff report noted.

Councilwoman Mickie Solorio-Luna said that she hoped that consideration for a skate spot would be given for the city's west side. She also said that during the half hour she spent outside the current skate park on Tuesday, she saw 11 kids using the facility — and none of them was wearing a helmet.

Councilman Victor Gomez, who was a skater in his younger days, said the idea of skate spots is a good one, because without city-designated skateboarding areas, skaters "will make their own spots" since he agreed that "government buildings are just the best place to skate."

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.