Skatepark in Action

Part 2 in this year-long series explores the installation and post-installation phase of skatepark implementation at the Glen Ellyn, Ill. Park District — a first-person account.

Editor’s note: Parks & Rec Business magazine presents the second part of The Skatepark Decision, a year-long series of articles exploring the growing demand for municipal and regional skateparks. The series will cover The Skatepark Decision, from planning to implementation, and everything in between. We’ll profile skateparks from around the country and offer new perspectives and ideas on The Skatepark Decision. If you have something you’d like to see covered in this series, please let us know. If you have a unique skatepark or have found ways to make skateparks work best for your community, drop us a line at This month, Dave Scarmardo, Superintendent of Parks for the Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Park District wraps up his account of Glen Ellyn’s skatepark-building experience.

Last month we discussed the decision-making process behind implementing a new skatepark in the Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Park District. Now it was time for the rubber to meet the road, or wheels to meet the half-pipe…

After the Board of Commissioners awarded the bid to the skatepark manufacturer, the equipment was delivered in about three weeks.

Three semi loads of equipment showed up on-site to be installed in Newton Park. After unloading the materials, the crew from the manufacturer did not waste any time in the installation process. They arrived well-prepared and ready to work.

The crew started early in the morning and some days worked well into darkness to get the project done on time. Staff was amazed how the ramps and jumps were constructed. They used superior construction materials, and it appears that it will last for a long time. All of the framing is constructed with pressure treated lumber, marine grade plywood, glued and screwed every 8 inches. The park took about 10 days to construct with no major problems.

Fitting the Blueprint

The layout fit perfectly into our 80′ x 160′ area. The installation crew was amazed at the design of our park. The crew stated that they had never installed a design like this one, and it was laid out exceptionally well.

The design utilized a couple of smaller designs configured into the overall design of the facility. The equipment was arranged into several different use zones for beginners, intermediates, and up to the advanced skill level.

The distance between each piece of equipment is very important, as this distance will determine the ability of the skater to achieve the proper speed and height to do the trick on the jump ramp or box, or get enough “vert”.

This was accomplished by having a 1′ hud box (6′ wide), a 1′ manual pad (12′ long) and a 3′ hipped bank (18′ wide), plus low boxes and long rails in our street course.

The intermediate skill level utilizes the medium height funbox and 4′ quarter bank, 5′ train-bank, and 5′ hipped quarter bowl. The advanced user is able to test their skills on the 6′ roll-in 6′ wide ramps and half pipe.

Also incorporated into the design is an area for kids to play a pick up game of in-line hockey, or just to warm up before attempting to test their skills on the course. The area is the entire width of the rink, which is about 80′ long and about 25′ wide. This area is also used heavily, and was a great use of the space.

Touchup & Maintenance

After the installation of the equipment we decided to have the surface color-coated to better match the skatepark equipment. This decision proved to be a very good one.

We contracted a local seal-coating company, Professional Maintenance, to apply the color coating material. We chose to go with a one-color application, with our logo applied in a couple of areas around the rink.

Alex Demos, the company’s CEO, was very helpful in choosing a color and the proper material needed for this application. Professional Maintenance also made a 6′ diameter plastic stencil of our park district logo. This logo can be used in other applications as well, like on our football field or soccer fields.

The logo is made of a heavy plastic, will last for a long time and was very cost-effective at around $175.

Two coats of material were applied. This is the same material that is used on the surfaces of tennis or basketball courts, so it should hold up well to the abuse of skating.

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  2. The Skatepark Decision, Part 1
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  4. Blending Boards
  5. Home Sweet Home
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