The Town of North Hempstead will go from zero skate parks to two by this time next year, said Supervisor Jon Kaiman, satisfying residents who have been asking for the amenity for years.
Kaiman said Monday that pending design approval by the town board, construction will begin in Manorhaven Beach Park about June and in North Hempstead Beach Park in the fall.
A skate park emerged as a community need in 2005, Kaiman said, when North Hempstead worked on a visioning plan for Port Washington. But community members have apparently been interested in a skate park since the previous town administration, he said.
He said that Councilman Fred Pollack researched skate parks. And the town began putting away money to build one, but decided to postpone the project because of the economic downturn.
“Now that things are turning around, there’s about $250,000 to $500,000 set aside for the skate parks project,” Kaiman said.
After researching potential sites around town, it was determined that Manorhaven could accommodate a small skating space and a larger "destination park” could be built at North Hempstead Beach.
The Manorhaven park will cover about 10,000 square feet and include street elements -- like stairs and railings on which skaters can do tricks -- but no bowl, which resembles an empty swimming pool. The North Hempstead Beach Park will be bigger, about 15,000 square feet, and will have a bowl along with street elements.
Kaiman said the town is working with Spohn Ranch Skateparks, a skate park design and construction firm, on the project. The supervisor, along with Pollack and Spohn designer Jason Baldessari, held a community meeting on Dec. 20 that was attended by many of the younger residents who will be using the park.
He said after the formal portion of the meeting, Baldessari met in groups with the interested residents to gather their input on what kind of park they need.
“It was good to have added input,” Kaiman said. “And the parents were engaged, too. You can’t have too many chefs in the kitchen, so to speak, but it’s good to have a group of folks who will actually use the facility have a say.”