East Side Resurrection – Project Skate
In efforts to renovate the Fountain Creek area into a public-friendly place to hang out, the city of Pueblo has made its final decision to polish the existing area.
The project has specifically targeted the Fountain Creek area on the east side of Pueblo, and after allocating funds from other previous projects and the current Fountain Creek project, the city was able to move forward with improvements to the creek.
The Fountain Creek, which flows through Pueblo on its way to the Arkansas River, is something that city officials in Pueblo and El Paso county wanted to target as an issue, which is what led them to the current project. This project was launched in hopes of drawing attention to the lonely tributary.
The project will add a skate park that stretches from the creek to an existing recreation center and the construction will consist of ripping out a portion of the street Eerie, between seventh and sixth street. There will be a lawn amphitheater, a gathering area, a festival space, a food truck parking area along the festival space, a basketball court, a sand volleyball area, a restroom plaza, an updated creek trail and trails throughout the park, a space for outdoor movies and an art fence that would run on the outskirts of the park. These are all of the additions that the project planners are going to get done through the project.
“This project has been fantastic, the hardest part was securing the grant from Great Outdoors Colorado,” Senior Planner Beritt Odom told PULP. “The grant was a legacy grant and we partnered with the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, and the City of Fountain for approximately seven separate projects along the Fountain Creek.”
Would a new skate park attract some of the community? Would a new and improved park attract people to gather around the creek? The project planners think the project can do just that, and are well on their way to find out.
The first steps to getting the park done was to put a team together. That’s when Design Concepts got involved. This design team was approved by the reviewing committee and hired-on in May of 2013. Team Pain was added to the project as a subconsultant. Team Pain is a skatepark specialist with over 30 years of experience and the company is comprised of experienced skateboarders.
The project committee was able to gather about $2.5 million for the project and then they had to decide how much money each portion of the project would get. There’s a lot of little parts of the overall project, but it can be broken down into two parts: the skate park and everything else.
Before they started designing, the project planners decided to have meetings and let the public put in their input.
“Skateboarders and BMX riders have been very involved in all of the meetings,” Odom explained. “Each meeting has been extremely positive and we received a lot of good feedback. I think the public is impressed with the design.”
The planners decided to allocate around $800,000 of the funds to the skate park and the rest of the money would be spent on the rest of the park.
Because Design Concepts is leading the designing, engineering and construction, the contractors will be in charge of seeing the project completed. After the skate park money is given to Team Pain for construction, the landscape architects will be left with around $1.4 million for all of the other smaller portions of the project, while putting about $300,000 aside for contingency purposes.
The entire project will be built around the existing El Centro del Quinto Sol recreational facility, but no money has yet been collected for amenities. Odom mentioned the planners were trying to gather more funds to refinish the existing basketball courts, located on the north side of the recreational center, but for now the existing area will remain untouched.
As the project moves forward, the construction will begin during the upcoming summer time and the project will extend into 2015.
The overall goal of the Fountain Creek project is to create an inviting location near the Fountain Creek that can aide the economy of the east side of Pueblo. The Fountain Creek Greenway & Vitalization Plan is a past project that helped kickstart the efforts to improve the lower east side community and now a small part of the east side is getting a touch up.