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City Manager's Blog

Jan 20

[ARCHIVED] Help Design Modesto's Newest Skate Plaza

The original item was published from January 20, 2021 10:44 AM to January 20, 2021 1:42 PM

In early 2020, California State Parks awarded the City of Modesto an $8.5 million grant for a complete renovation of César E. Chavez Park. There are two virtual community workshops planned in order to receive resident input on the amenities included: One on January 21, and another on February 25, both at 5:30 p.m., with materials in English and Spanish and a translator present. Residents can join these online meetings with the passcode “skateboard”.

During public meetings about the Chavez Park redesign in 2019, the community expressed a desire for a skate plaza that could serve West Modesto residents. Modesto’s existing skate park at Beyer Community Park is more than five miles away, a distance too great for both youth and residents without a personal means of transportation.

The City obtained great ideas about the overall design of the park during those meetings and has begun formal design for many of the new park amenities to be constructed by O’Dell Engineering; however, the City is in need of additional community input for the park’s skate plaza.

As a result, the City and O’Dell have partnered with Spohn Ranch, an internationally renowned skate park designer and construction firm based in Southern California, to design a skate plaza based on Modesto residents’ needs.

The City anticipates that the skate plaza will be a modern concrete facility featuring steps, walls, railings, and embankments strategically designed for skateboarding and wheeled sports of all skill levels, but it is ultimately up to residents to help determine the facilities featured.

“We are thankful for our community’s feedback in helping the City plan this dynamic park project. We will continue consulting with community members and industry experts to make this skate plaza a loved destination for our residents,” Ken Peterson, Parks Project Coordinator, said.

The first community workshop is a discovery meeting. Spohn Ranch will present examples of various skate plazas and elements during a community survey, with time set aside for discussion and comments. The meeting will gather information on what amenities would be best for those who plan to use it—whether it’s skateboarders, inline skaters, BMX riders, or others—to make concept layouts.

At the second community workshop on February 25, the design team will present those concept layouts for community review and comment.

Designing, contracting, and constructing the new park elements will take approximately two years, with a target completion date of summer 2023.

The entire park, when complete, will feature an aquatic center, skate plaza, basketball court, soccer field, and three fitness stations, in addition to an updated youth center, a picnic pavilion, event stage area, restrooms, and more than 4,000 feet of walking paths.

More information about the upcoming project can be found on the César E. Chavez Park Renovation Project webpage.