By Allison Jarrell
The San Juan Capistrano City Council voted unanimously March 7 to approve a schematic design for a proposed skate park in town, but the project is still far from becoming a reality. The approval marks the first step in what could be a lengthy fundraising process for the park, which is now estimated to cost about $2 million.
The proposed skate park would be situated at the San Juan Capistrano sports park, off of Via Positiva near Marco Forster Middle School and the city’s community center. Skate park consultant Aaron Spohn of Spohn Ranch was hired by the city to begin working on the design last July. Over the summer, Spohn held community workshops and worked with local organizations and skaters to incorporate their input into a design.
At the March 7 Council meeting, Spohn Ranch presented the Council with renderings, an outline of the scope of work and an estimated cost for the park, which is just shy of $2 million. With Councilman Brian Maryott absent, the Council was split over proceeding with the design due to the skate park’s cost, which was initially estimated to be about $1 million.
After some debate, the Council agreed to approve the schematic design presented, but to only revisit the project once $1 million has been raised. The goal is to fund the skate park entirely with private and in-kind donations.
With the initial design approved, local groups can now begin actively fundraising and searching for in-kind donations and sponsorships. City staff said they’ll be reaching out to other cities, including Dana Point, and agencies to inquire about potential partnerships as well.