The Issaquah City Council got a number of “thumbs up” for the location of a new skate park from residents, including kids, Monday night. As one youngster named Levi noted, Top Pot doughnuts is only a block away, so how can that be bad?
A citizen’s advisory committee considered seven sites, finally settling on one in Tibbets Valley Park because of its openness and proximity to the Issaquah Transit Center. In addition, there is a buffer between the site and Newport Way. Also, parking is abundant in an adjacent lot that also serves people using the ball fields.
Comparisons to the skate park in Sammamish, which is well-lit and heavily used given its safe and family-friendly location by Sammamish City Hall and the library, were brought up more than once at public meetings in Issaquah. In contrast, Issaquah’s current skate park is rarely used for skating, but more for illegal activities since it’s hidden away from plain sight.
The new skate park will be 8,000 to 10,000 square-feet, much larger than the existing park off of the Rainier Trail by the Issaquah Community Center which is only 5,600 square-feet.
Last year the city approved $350,000 in the 2014 budget to build a new skate park and demolish the old one. Brian Bernsten with Issaquah Parks and Recreation said the old park won’t be demolished until the new one is built.
Funding will come from $150,000 of real estate excise taxes and $200,000 from the park mitigation fund.
The location will be reviewed by the council services and safety committee May 1, before returning to full council May 19 for final approval. Next steps after that will be the design phase.
Levi testifies at the April 21 City Council meeting that he uses the skate park and is in favor of the Tibbets Valley Park location.
The Issaquah Park-n-Ride is directly across the street from the location for the new Skate Park.
Jack Walsh testifies at the April 21 City Council meeting that the Tibbets Valley Park location is a good choice for the new skate park. “It’s a highly public place and a lot of people will go there,” he said.