North Tahoe skate park needs a home | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe skate park needs a home

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun

Jason Kelley/Sierra Sun File PhotoDane Leonard, 24, rides at the skate park in Truckee. The League to Skate Lake Tahoe hopes to build a skate park in the North Tahoe Regional Park.

Preliminary plans for a skate park in the North Tahoe Regional Park are just about wrapped up, but the North Tahoe Public Utility District needs to approve a location within the park to keep the project’s momentum rolling.

Before the League to Skate Lake Tahoe dives into massive fundraising efforts, a specific site for the project needs to be secured.

But the district’s board of directors weren’t sold on the proposed site brought before them at their meeting last week by the League to Skate Lake Tahoe, a certified nonprofit solely created to build a skate park in the North Tahoe area.

“It’s imperative that we kind of agree on a site,” said Mick Nicklin, the skate park’s engineer, at the meeting. “So that we can go ahead on our funding.”

The league wishes to build a 63,000-square-foot skate park, including parking, in the upper portion of the regional park in Tahoe Vista, in between the soccer field and the bike path.

“[The proposed site] just seemed suitable from several standpoints,” Nicklin said, noting that it wasn’t intrusive to neighbors and was easily accessible. “It’s a tough sell. It’s Tahoe, property is very valuable up here.”

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President Andrew Eisenmann of the League to Skate Lake Tahoe stressed that the proposed site was perfect because of it’s proximity to the bike path.

“If we want to encourage something like this for our community, we want to just have it so that people can just go to it,” Eisenmann said. “Kids can just go to it.”

The board of directors, however, have other spots in mind.

“I don’t just accept gifts, but my predominant thing is I just don’t like it’s location,” said board director Frank Mooney. “I think it’s just too prime a land for it to be at.”

Board President Lane Lewis said he preferred a formerly-proposed site that was located closer to the parking lot and the bathrooms. This site, Lewis said, has more security because of its visibility.

“The people who sold me on [a skate park] before, sold me on that spot,” said board President Lane Lewis at last week’s meeting.

Lewis acknowledged that a skate park would be an appropriate feature and use.

“Let’s keep this dialogue going,” Lewis said. “Let’s look at these other locations too.”

The League to Skate Lake Tahoe needs to raise $1.6 million to design, plan and build their envisioned skate park. The sum includes two years’ worth of maintenance, budgeted at $8,000 a year.

The league hopes to host a grand opening for the skate park in October 2009, which doesn’t leave any time for procrastination.

“It’s an aggressive schedule,” Nicklin said. “But it’s a goal for us.”

Board members also expressed concern over the on-going maintenance the skate park would require.

“You’re building us a structure,” Mooney said. “You’re building us a facility. We’ve got to maintain it.”

The League to Skate Lake Tahoe assured the board that they were here to stay and would see this project through it’s completion and beyond.

“We want to assure the [North Tahoe Public Utility District] that we’re here all the way through,” Eisenmann said.