Council awards bid for skate park to Grindline Skateparks, Inc.

A long-awaited dream will finally be coming true for Issaquah residents — that of having a skateboard park.

The Issaquah City Council unanimously voted to award a $503,328.76 contract to Grindline Skateparks, Inc. of Seattle for the Skate Park at Tibbetts Valley Park.

Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Watling called the skate park “a long-awaited project” that has “been in the dreams of our youth since 2009” and been officially in the works since 2014.

The bid includes the construction of the skateboarding area, as well as an entry staircase, seat wall planters, benches, picnic tables and chain-link fencing.

Although based out of West Seattle, Grindline has built neighborhood skate parks throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Denmark and Israel. Local Grindline creations include the skate park at Crossroads Park and the Highlands Skate Plaza in Bellevue, and the Carnation Skate Park in Carnation.

Of the two qualified bids received, Grindline came in far below competitor Nordic Construction, Inc. of Fife, with a difference of $297,119.58.

Still, Watling said that Parks and Recreation doesn’t quite have as many funds as ideal for the project, noting that there is only a 3.89 percent contingency planned instead of the usual 10 percent.

To save money, the city plans to take care of landscaping and irrigation itself, rather than including that as part of the construction costs.

Councilmember Bill Ramos told Watling he appreciated Parks and Recreation getting creative and “figuring out how to get the whole thing done even though there’s not quite enough money” instead of coming to the council and asking for additional dollars.

Council President Stacy Goodman praised Watling for giving a thorough presentation and being transparent in all financial matters.

“Your presentation was very thorough, you’re very candid … I very, very much appreciate that,” she told him.

“It’s been a real joy to interact with members of the community who support this and who understand … how these processes work sometimes,” Councilmember Paul Winterstein said.

“Maybe, maybe, maybe, I’ll strap on a helmet and try [skateboarding],” he added, drawing chuckles from his fellow council members.

Raising funds for the Skate Park has been a multi-year effort not just by the city in its application for grants, but by community members who have donated countless hours to organizing fundraisers for the new park.

Ramos called the Skate Park “a true citizen-led project” that “is coming finally to fruition.”

“This has been a long time coming, this project, so it really is exciting,” Councilmember Mariah Bettise said.

Council members Tola Marts and Eileen Barber were not present for the vote. However, both sit on the Council Services and Safety Committee and expressed support of the skate park bid when it was presented at the April 11 committee meeting.