City Issues Skatepark Request for Proposals

The city of Ann Arbor has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the design of a skatepark to be built at Veterans Memorial Park. [.pdf of skatepark RFP] The goal is to solicit proposals for a consultant to handle design and oversee construction of the skatepark, which will be located on city-owned property. The roughly $1 million cost of the project will be paid for through a combination of private donations – primarily solicited through the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark – a $300,000 state grant, and up to $400,000 in matching funds from the Washtenaw County parks and recreation commission. The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation is acting as fiduciary for the project.

The deadline for submitting proposals is May 4, 2012 at 10 a.m. A pre-proposal meeting for potential respondents will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 4 p.m. at the proposed skatepark site at Veterans Memorial Park, near the corner of Dexter Avenue and Maple Road. After proposals are submitted on May 4, they will be reviewed by a selection committee, with interviews held during the week of May 29.

The RFP provides this description of the project design: ”The site allows for an approximately 30,000 square foot Skatepark. The design must include, but not necessarily be limited to, both “street” (e.g. flat surfaces, stairs, rails) and “transitional” elements (e.g. bowls, pools, curved surfaces, halfpipes), lighting and seating, and must accommodate skaters at a range of skill levels, from beginners to advanced. The final plan must meet or exceed all storm water management and other environmental requirements, must complement the current park landscape, and must preserve the existing trees. Where practical, solar powered lights, drought resistant species, and low maintenance ground covers shall be incorporated into the design, as applicable.”

The RFP was discussed at the April 17 meeting of the Ann Arbor park advisory commission. Colin Smith, the city’s parks and recreation manager, told commissioners that the goal is to select a designer within two months. He explained that the RFP is being handled through the city’s purchasing division using city guidelines, and the skatepark will be a city-owned asset. However, he said the selection committee – which will include members of the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, as well as city and county representatives – will be relied on to make a recommendation for the designer. That recommendation will be reviewed by PAC, he said. PAC commissioner David Barrett will serve on the committee. Park planner Amy Kuras is the city’s point person on the project.

Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2013.

One Comment

  1. By poohbah
    April 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm | permalink

    From [link] on 04/19/2012:

    “The winning bidder also must have …. a track record of having designed and built or overseen the construction of at least 10 skateparks of a similar scope that have been in place for at least 10 years.”

    These criteria are going to be very difficult to meet. According to the Concrete Disciples database [link], there are only 13 concrete-surfaced skateparks worldwide of 30,000 square feet or larger. Seven of these are in the US; currently only 3 are in operation. Pictures of the seven sites show what appears to be recent construction. One in operation was built in 2008, another in 2011, with no date given for the third.

    As a result of this study, I doubt that there were at least 10 such skateparks in existence in 2002, have been in use since then, and, if so, doubt even more that a single designer/builder was responsible for them all!