Nontraditional sports found a new home after Pflugerville City Council approved building a skate spot at Bohls Park at its Jan. 14 meeting.
Skating amenities in Pflugerville have been discussed for several years, with the closest location being the Northeast Metropolitan Park off SH 130. Pflugerville resident Brent Hurta has attended City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission meetings for several years to voice his support for building a skate spot in the city.
"There's not much to do in Pflugerville for young kids or young adults, and I think any variety [of amenities] we can introduce into the community keeps them from things we don't want them doing," Hurta said.
Skate spots have consistently ranked among the most requested park amenities for the city. The demand was able to become a reality with a $100,000 grant from the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. specifically earmarked for a skating amenity.
"We know [skate spots] are a recreational need," PCDC Executive Director Floyd Akers said. "Park improvements are part of what the voters asked us to use money on."
To better serve Pflugerville's west side, the parks and recreation commission initially looked at building the spot at the neighborhood park in Cambridge Hills. However, the subdivision's homeowners association and management company were concerned the skate spot would create parking and crowd problems.
"[Residents] have had some major issues with large groups, primarily sports groups, monopolizing the park and creating hazards by double parking in the parking lot and in the street next to the park," said Pflugerville Parks and Recreation Director James Hemenes. "[Parking problems] made it difficult for residents to get into the neighborhood, let alone emergency vehicles."
While there is currently no funding to plan or construct another skate spot, the city plans to revisit building one on the city's west side in the future.
"The desire was to have two skate spots, one on either side of town, so we will be revisiting that," Hemenes said.
Construction on the Bohls Park skate spot is expected to begin in early February and finish in April. The city has set aside approximately $103,000 for the project, with costs including design, construction and materials testing. The spot's proximity to the park and the city's recreation center will provide ample parking and bathroom facilities for visitors.
Plans for the spot include a ramps as well as a rail and concrete bench for skateboarders to grind. The skate spot measures 160 feet in length, 12 feet wide at the top of the ramp and 40 feet wide at the bottom. The amenity will be "wheel-friendly," meaning it can be used for skateboards, roller blades and scooters.
The spot is also expected to bring enthusiasts from throughout the region, with skate facilities in Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Lockhart already drawing large crowds.
"People travel to each [park] because there are different elements at each that they like," Hemenes said. "[People who use skate parks] are a pretty tight-knit group, so they'll travel around."