CANNON BEACH - The wave of snake runs, steel coping and halfpipes is breaking in Cannon Beach.
The city of Cannon Beach is expanding its current skate park to 5,800 feet and adding numerous new features to the small park that was built in 1988.
Three years ago, the youth, parents and city decided perhaps it was time to update the nearly 30-year-old park and give the skaters of Cannon Beach something more challenging. In December 2006, the city sent out a design request. Local designer, Stefan Hauser of Placed To Ride Inc., was awarded the project in March.
"We had three designs," said Cannon Beach City Manager Rich Mays. "We liked Stefan's because of his connection with the community. I think it's fair to say that Stefan had a better feel for the local culture, the kids and the fundraising effort."
"I had imagined a different sort of design, but after a few meetings with the locals I changed my preconceptions," said Hauser via e-mail. "The skate park design is still evolving to this day, nothing yet is in concrete."
The city was awarded an Oregon Parks and Recreation District grant - the same type given to Seaside last year for its skate park project. With the $120,000 in grant funds, the $51,000 raised by Lujac Desautel, Cole Willyard and other Cannon Beach youth, $40,000 from the city, and $10,000 from Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District, the park is making its way from two-dimensional design to usable park.
When asked about community concerns, Mays said any doubts by those in the community were cancelled out by the positive aspects of the project. "Any concerns people have had have been outweighed by the effort of the kids," said Mays.
For Mays, the project has been made more pleasurable by the time he has spent with the youth so closely involved with the project. "I've gotten to know the kids personally."
The close involvement of the Cannon Beach youth has included design input. "It seems the local skateboarders really want bowls and a snake run feel," said Hauser. "I want to also make sure it includes some street features."
Hauser was also responsible for designing and building the park in Seaside in June. Despite the proximity, Hauser made it clear that the designs were different, but complemented each other.
"The two skate parks are completely different entities and will have different designs," said Hauser. "That is the way it goes normally with all good skate park designs. Of course, there will be duplications in materials. Some elements such as transitions, banks, rails and coping are hard to get rid of.
"The idea is to create a series of skate parks without two alike. This way you can travel and search out different terrain. It makes traveling more fun. The essence is to design something for the local youth.
"Saying this, Seaside is not so far away from Cannon Beach and so I definitely want the two skate parks to be different and to complement each other."