Banzai Skate Board Park Open At Last

25 11 2014

Banzai Skatepark

After more than fourteen years on the drawing board and many months of closure due to construction, the Banzai Skate Board Park once again open to the public. Following a park dedication at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the 26th of November, just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday, the North Shore Community finally has a skate board park that is both functional and attractive. The park project received initial funding in 2000 after lobbying efforts that some say began as long ago as 1976. The latest improvements to the site include the construction of a parking lot, extensive landscaping, the installation of an irrigation system and modifications to the bowl. The perimeter of the park needed to be fenced during the construction as a mandatory safety precaution and entrance to the park has been restricted with a guard posted at the site for the last few weeks.

I know it was frustrating for the community to be denied access to the park during the final construction phase, but liability issues compelled the restriction until the City formally accepted the work of the contractor who was responsible for the security measures. My staff and I worked closely with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Design and Construction during this last phase of the project to expedite the park opening. The last modification of the site was the addition of the stanchions and chains designed to prevent vehicles from driving on the grass while still allowing for the entrance of emergency vehicle if needed. With the help of the community, we need a plan to protect the new trees, grass and other plantings from injury, and the park itself from vandalism as was the case during the earlier phase of construction.

In 2011, the Sunset Beach Community Association established a special fund to support the project and to afford enhancements not included in the construction budget. Several potential donors indicated a willingness to make monetary contributions to the fund for useful additions to the park. Some of the preliminary suggestions included separate areas for novice skateboarders, placement of concrete planters to serve a variety of usages such as seating, skate ledges & shade trees, walkways designed to be used as skate surfaces, drinking fountains, picnic tables and benches for the grassy areas and even a viewing stand to provide seats and shade from the sun. If these suggestions are incorporated into the design of the park, the community may be able to hold various charity & fundraiser events and contests involving professional and amateur skaters alike. The construction of this park at a cost of nearly two million dollars, was intended to provide the community with a recreational arena where skateboarders, from young children & teens to adults, can enjoy one of their favorite sports in a safe, clean and green environment.

A Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Aloha, Ernie.

North Shore News Article November 26, 2014.



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