City skate park moves to final design

Options for a closed bowl, left, versus an open bowl, right, were discussed for a new skate park at Twiggs Park. (Render provided by City of Evanston) Credit: Rendering provided by the City of Evanston

After starting from scratch nearly a year ago, a city team is now closing in on the final design of a state-of-the-art skate park at Twiggs Park, which sits along the North Shore canal between Green Bay Road and Bridge Street.

In a public meeting held via Zoom on April 5, officials presented two skate park concepts based on feedback they received at their previous February 22 meeting on the matter.

“With only 10,000 square feet, we can’t include all the features, but I think we’ve done a really good job of incorporating the most requested features,” said Jodi Mariano, principal urban designer at Teska Associates, based in Evanston, the town’s consultant on the project, introducing the discussion.

Officials will now take feedback heard at the April 5 meeting and refine it into a final concept to be presented at a fifth public meeting on May 17, she said.

There hasn’t been a dedicated skate park in Evanston since a temporary park opened at the east end of the Robert Crown Community Center in the late 1990s. It closed a few years later.

Based on budget and available space, designers are targeting an area at the east end of the park, at the southwest corner of Green Bay Road and Ashland Avenue, said design manager Mariano and Vince Onel. at Stone Ranch Skateboard Designers and consultant. on the project.

A “beginner-friendly zone” was one of the features that received consensus support during the process, Onel said.

“It doesn’t have to be completely separate, just an area in the skate park that’s a bit more beginner-friendly,” he said.

The design provides for four distinct zones – beginner street zone, intermediate street zone, advanced bowl, and beginner transition or bonus zone, which includes a mini halfpipe.

Onel said the zoning should “be really nice for Saturday afternoon sessions where the park is really busy, and you kind of want to organize a bit of chaos.

“But at the same time, for that Tuesday morning session where you and a buddy have the park to yourselves, you’re going to love how fluid this park is. You can flow from one area to another, and there’s no has no dead end.

Concept 1 for a skate park at Twiggs Park in Evanston (render provided by City of Evanston) Credit: Rendering provided by the City of Evanston

Zone 3 is an enclosed bowl that “goes from a four-foot section to a six-foot section,” he said. The mini-half pipe is just north of this one.

“It’s two feet tall and it’s really good for beginner riders,” Onel said. “If you like both skating and transitional skating, but aren’t quite ready for the bowl, this will be a great place to learn and practice, to get comfortable for the bowl. .”

The closed bowl is the consensus favorite

At the meeting, attendees had the opportunity to help the team make decisions on some of the still-undecided features of the concepts by voting online.

On wheels of choice, skateboards won hands down over BMX bikes, inline skates and scooters.

Item #2 of the survey included the big question of the day: “A closed bowl with a shallow bonus area to the north or an open bowl with a shallow bowl to the south?”

Closed bowl won easily, 15 to 4.

“It’s really unique,” Mariano said of the feature. “We spent time looking at other skate parks, and I didn’t see any that did this.”

For the identity elements of the skate park, voters were at an impasse between a “flow” theme and a design using twigs, reflecting the name of the park.

Mariano said the next step for team members is to take what they heard in the meeting and refine it into a final concept.

“And then after that, we’ll come back to all of you and present to the public again, [at the May 17 meeting],” she says.

The city’s schedule calls for construction documents to be prepared between May and September of this year and bids to be released later this year or early next year. The construction period would take place between March and November 2023, with the skate park expected to open in the fall of 2024.

More information about the project can be found under “Skate Park” on the city’s website.

Concept 2 for a skate park at Twiggs Park in Evanston (render provided by City of Evanston) Credit: City of Evanston

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