Four years after the closure of a wooden skate park, Bonita Springs is ready to build a modern concrete replacement with nearly $280,000 in grant funds.
City staff began looking to replace the wood with concrete in 2016 but lacked the funding. City Council at the time suggested finding grant money, and the staff got to work.
The $280,000 grant is from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which usually helps local governments with outdoor parks projects. The city needs to match the grant funds and has already set aside $280,000 in the 2021-22 budget to build the park.
Bonita Recreation Center:Kiddie pool, splash pad could come to Bonita Springs Community Pool
The final designs are being approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, and then the city will begin searching for a contractor, said Nicole Perino, parks and recreation director.
“We should begin construction this fall,” Perino said.
A wooden skate park, opened in 2004, was closed for maintenance in summer 2017. Hurricane Irma swept through Southwest Florida a few months later. Heavy flood and wind damage shuttered the park for good, and it was dismantled shortly after. An 18,000-square-foot concrete slab sits empty near the Recreation Center entrance.
City officials began planning a new park in summer 2019 with the hiring of an Austin-based skate park design group, Stantec’s Action Sports Division. Local skaters and BMX riders met with the group to lay out an ideal skate park for Bonita Springs.
“It’s been designed by a professional BMX rider and a skateboarder,” Perino said. “They build skate parks and pump tracks all over the world.”
The concrete park will be free to everyone and will feature a bowl, pump track and street skating section. It will be partially shaded and have seating.
New kiddie pool and updated baseball complex at the rec center
Two other projects are slated to begin construction this fall.
A kiddie pool and splash pad will be installed at the Bonita Springs Community Pool. A 2,500-square-foot children’s pool would be “a water playground in an 18- to 24-inch pool,” Perino said.
The pool is part of a larger renovation to build family restrooms and a larger office room. The work had an estimated price tag of $750,000 in 2016. Cost estimates are being updated for the first preliminary budget is in July.
Upgrades continue at the Bonita Springs baseball fields. Crews spent last fall tearing out old walkways and substandard water drainage at the city’s four-field complex at the Bonita Springs Recreation Center.
The sidewalks were widened and made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A second round of construction will begin after the Little League season ends in the coming weeks. It will focus on replacing audience bleachers and player dugouts.
The first round of construction cost nearly $1.7 million. The upcoming construction has not been priced.