Planners and developers move forward with skatepark

Southern Ute elder, James “Mike” Olguin listens to Nate Hendren, after posing a question to the youth skaters — asking for their vision of the skatepark.
Brad Siedlecki, founding owner of Pillar Design Studios listens to one of many requests made by Kandin Johnson about a rainbow rail he would like to see in the skatepark.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

Propose revised concepts at meeting

The Southern Ute Tribal Planner and contractors met with community members to present three new concepts for the Southern Ute Action Sports Complex at a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort.

Action sports enthusiast and landscape designer, Brad Siedlecki, founding owner of Pillar Design Studios, presented three skatepark concepts to the 30 attendees at the latest planning meeting.

Pillar Design Studios, L.L.C. is a niche firm based in Tempe, Ariz. Pillar specializes in recreational planning, action sports facility design, landscape architecture, and construction services.

The emphasis of the “concept” meeting was to proceed with a direction of style – a street style, with transitional aspects including features desired by skaters: rails, ramps, and a pump-track for other types of skaters.

Skater lingo became more evident during the meeting, as Siedlecki asked the skaters and anyone wanting to speak directly on their desires for the skatepark to move to the front. The skaters and Siedlecki used terminology to describe features in the skate park. “Return Taco,” “Vert Wall,” “Pole Jamb,” “Huba” and “Rainbow Rails,” all of which proved that those using the skate park know what they want to see in the final design.

The three concepts all incorporated design elements and features from a previous meeting held in November with community members, made up mostly of the skating community. Concept A: featured more skateable surface, with a wrap-around concrete design, encompassing features of an enclosed skate park. The wrap-around feature would incorporate a style similar to a pump-track. Concept B: features a back-and-forth design, in a rectangular shape, encouraging speed and motion, a more street-style concept. Concept C: included transitional elements, with an 8 ft. wave at one end, and featured more intersecting sections.

Mike Olguin asked the young skaters what their vision for the park would be, “as the concrete will be here longer than we will be,” Olguin expressed.

“We want to do something like they do in Durango. They hold classes for young skaters, teaching them how to skate,” answered Nate Hendren. “We want to be able to do the same thing here in Ignacio at our skate park.”

Southern Ute Councilmember, Bruce Valdez asked about amenities, such as restrooms. “When will the design incorporate restrooms? All we need is one kid running across the street to Thriftway and to be hit,” Valdez said.

The next steps in the masterplan will feature added things such as restrooms, access points, lighting, fencing and additional safety features. A deadline of Sept. 5. 2020, has been set to have the skate park completed.

“We want skaters skating by the first week in September,” Siedlecki stated.

Designers, contractors and planners will next meet with Southern Ute Tribal Council after a tweak to what the skaters have asked for in this last meeting. Concept details and budget numbers will be discussed with Tribal Council in a future work-session in December.

“You will need to show success in these first stages of the skate park masterplan,” Siedlecki emphasized to the young skaters, “If you want more of an action type sports complex, with more features, such as: added safety features, security, lighting, shade, seating, and amphitheater for music shows, you will need to have community buy-in, to show this is not just a single-purpose facility.”

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