Picture Rocks skate park nears finish - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Picture Rocks skate park nears finish

Project for kids to open in February

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Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:06 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

A vision begun about two years ago is coming to fruition for Picture Rocks' Tom Allen.

Allen, who is vice president of Citizens for Picture Rocks, a non-profit, all-volunteer community improvement organization, was looking for something for kids to do in the remote community.

During a visit to California, Allen and his wife noticed all of the skate and BMX parks, and wondered if one could be built in Picture Rocks.

"They have been building them in Tucson for quite a while," Allen said. "It's a big thing around the country now."

In 2004, voters approved $20 million for neighborhood reinvestment projects. In July of 2008, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved $383,000 to be put toward a skate park in Picture Rocks.

Leslie Nixon, the neighborhood reinvestment program manager for the county, said the county wanted to make sure the skate park is something the community wanted.

"We ask the community what they want," Nixon said. "What we have to assure ourselves is that whatever process they use, we need to be sure that all folks in the community have had an opportunity to give input about the project and that everybody knows what is being considered."

In November, construction workers broke ground on the 10,000-square-foot skate park.

The skating facility's grand opening is planned for Feb. 13, and the park will be open during regular park hours.

Of the $383,000, about $30,000 was put toward security cameras around the existing park and the new skating and biking facility.

To put together a skate park of this size and quality, workers from RS Bell Concrete and California Skate, who designed the park, have used about 150 cubic yards of concrete – equivalent to 15 truckloads. Within the concrete, workers have used three to four tons of rebar as well.

"We went out to Ajo and checked out (the skate park) out there," Allen said. "There were gaps between some of the elements."

Allen said quality has been stressed.

"We aren't going to have any of that kind of stuff," Allen said. "That causes accidents."

To bring a high level of quality to the park, the county hired California Skateparks to help design and create the park.

Brian Pino, one of the senior project managers for California Skateparks, worked on the Picture Rocks skate park as well as recently completing the skate parks in Red Rocks and in Santa Rita. Pino, an Arizona resident, brought his 20 years of skate park design and building and 35 years of being a skateboarder to the design.

Along with bringing experience to the table, the company also tries to bring well-known skateboarders to the grand opening ceremonies.

"It is our intention to attend the grand opening ceremony," Pino said, "and bring as much talent as we can to share with the kids of the community to help celebrate the grand opening of their skate park."

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