Board listens to ideas on building skate park in La Jolla

A La Jolla mother and three representatives from the skate park industry lobbied the La Jolla Parks & Recreation Inc. board at its Feb. 24 meeting, trying to persuade the group of the necessity — and practicality — of building a skate park in the community to serve the unmet recreational needs of area youth.

It was a discussion item only, with parks and rec board members and the public listening to the pitch and then querying skate park proponents about the details of building a skate park. The group did not vote or take any position on building the park at the rec center or elsewhere in La Jolla.

“If you don’t have a (community) skate park — you are a skate park,” said Miki Vuckovich of Tony Hawk Foundation, a nonprofit promoting skate park creation.

There were a handful of supporters in attendance as well as a design team that works with the Tony Hawk Foundation.

A couple of neighbors living near the rec center questioned the noise levels that a skate park would create suggesting the surrounding area, which includes churches and the Museum of Contemporary Art, might be too dense to be feasible for creating a noisy, crowded youth recreational facility.

Vuckovich replied that there are proven design techniques to counteract skate park noise and that a park could also be secured with fencing. He also acknowledged that it was important to study options before deciding on a site.

“Opening up a skate park in La Jolla is one issue, and opening up a skate park at the rec center is an entirely different issue,” noted boardmember Pat Miller about the complexity of the undertaking.

“When they first came to me with the idea of a skate park I was shocked,” said boardmember Mary Coakley. “But we’re doing a new (master) plan for the park and I think we need to embrace a larger, broader cross-section of the community.”

“The rec center shouldn’t be for just toddlers and old people,” agreed Melinda Merryweather, a longtime La Jollan and boardmember.