LANCASTER — Local skateboarders will be able to catch some air this October when the City of Lancaster’s first skatepark is expected to open at Jane Reynolds Park.

The Lancaster City Council unanimously approved a contract with Spohn Ranch Inc. Tuesday night worth up to $1 million to construct the skatepark.

The city was able to expedite the process by using an existing contract between Spohn Ranch and the National Joint

Powers Alliance.

“The contract was competitively bid nationally and for the benefit of state and local government use,” Parks, Recreation and Arts Director Jeff Campbell said in a report to the City Council.

Campbell said the contract will not ensure the best pricing for construction, but will provide the city with flexibility in design to keep it within budget. The contract will also cut off about three to four months of total project time.

“Spohn Ranch is a leading expert in designing and constructing skateparks, and we are extremely confident in their professional and technical expertise to provide us an amazing skatepark that our residents will be very proud of,” Campbell said.

The City Council will approve the design of the skatepark at a future meeting. City officials conducted two workshops to gather feedback from skateboarders on the proposed design of the park.

Mayor R. Rex Parris expressed concern about skateboarders who will ride their boards to the park along Avenue J.

“We know they’re going to be using their skateboards to get there. If we can have some type of division between the street and what they’re actually using, maybe we could avoid losing a couple kids before we then do it,” Parris said.

Lancaster resident Michael Rives opposed placing the skatepark at Jane Reynolds Park.

“A better location would have been American Heroes Park, which is near the Sheriff’s Station and City Hall,” Rives said.

Rives predicted skateboarders would grow weary of the park and ride their boards on city streets.

“We’re doing this to im-prove the city,” Parris said.

Lancaster resident Fran Sereseres said the skatepark will be a good thing for the community.

“It’s good for youngsters in our neighborhood. They need a place to go where they are wanted and needed, and they can have enjoyment with what they like to do,” Sereseres said.

Dale Andreoli, whose late British bulldog Bony Hawk gained fame for his four-legged prowess on a skateboard, said a skatepark can become the heartbeat of a community.

“I’ve seen firsthand how skateparks can improve communities,” Andreoli said, adding he was skeptical

at first.

Parris asked Andreoli to teach him how to skateboard.

“I taught a dog how to skateboard. I can teach council members how to skateboard,” Andreoli said.

“We’ve got to make this fun,” Parris said. “I will challenge the mayor of Palmdale to a skate-off and you’ve got to teach me how to do it.”

Councilman Ken Mann said Jane Reynolds Park is good location because it’s centrally located in the city.

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