-photo courtesy of skateandannoy
No concrete, No Cash. Maybe not that extreme but the The Tony Hawk Foundation announced August 5th that skateparks applying for grants with a budget of $50,000 or more must be built out of concrete in order to help create a longer lasting influence of skateboarding around the country. Advances in concrete pouring and skatepark building has decreased the cost of building concrete parks consistently over the last two years and in a considerable amount of instances become less expensive than using steel-framed modular pieces to build a park. If the latter is the desired route of the park hopeful skaters may still apply for grants, however if their budget is under $50,000 they must prove that they’ve had concrete estimates done and that it is out of their price range. While concrete may seem more costly in the short term it is the long term plans that show more cost effectiveness. Maintenance costs for modular parks over a couple years proves to be much more costly than maintaining a concrete park. One would hope that a park would be around forever and to have it close due to a lack of upkeep is a crime.
There have been many concrete parks that have closed for reasons beyond maintenance, but the Tony Hawk Foundation is right in that it is much harder to just permanently erase a concrete park. Take the Turf skatepark in Wisconsin for example. Opened in 1978 it was one of the largest indoor concrete parks in its area only to be filled up with gravel and covered by a twelve inch slab of concrete. Fast forward to today and the Turf is finding new life. A storage facility was built over it but then sold a couple months ago to the state of Wisconsin in order to make room for a new parking lot. After breaking through the concrete and digging down eight feet into the gravel the working crew had to stop and reassess what they were dealing with. Avid skate fans with retro Turf Member cards in hand flocked back to their spot with shovels, pick axes, and wheel barrows to start unearthing their favorite shred spot. Check out the photos of their excavation and find out how you can SAVE THE TURF! – JESS BRAAM