With the concrete dry and rails secured, the youth of Southern Inyo are heading out to the brand-new Lone Pine Skate Plaza.
After a year-and-a-half of planning, Lynn Bunn said the skate park officially opened last week, and has already seen a lot of attention from Lone Pine youngsters.
“You can’t believe the number of kids who are out there skating already,” Bunn said. “The other morning there were some kids, 4 or 5 years old, on Razor scooters, and they were just having a great time.”
The skate park is 10,000 square feet and includes a number of features, from tabletops to bowls to ledges and rails.
While the skate park is currently open to skaters, bicyclists and scooter riders of all ages, an official grand opening isn’t scheduled until Saturday, June 30.
Bunn said the entire community is invited to attend and celebrate the latest recreational opportunity in Southern Inyo.
The grand opening will feature music, raffles, food and live skate demos courtesy of Wave Rave in Mammoth and a group of skaters from Ridgecrest.
Bunn said invitations have been sent out to members of the Tony Hawk Foundation, which contributed $10,000 for the construction of the park. As of Tuesday, nobody from the Foundation had committed to attending.
Even though the famed Foundation Board (which includes pro skaters Tony Hawk, Jamie Thomas and Mike Vallely) may not be attending, Bunn said the Foundation donated two cases of helmets to be raffled off to skaters under the age of 18, free of charge, at the grand opening.
Bunn said the skate park is almost completely paid for thanks to the donation from the Tony Hawk Foundation. However, Bunn will hold a fundraising raffle during the grand opening to help cover the cost of a sign at the skate park that she paid for out of her own pocket.
“I’m always fundraising, but by the end of June, everything should be paid for,” Bunn said. “Everybody has been so supportive, from Ridgecrest to Mammoth, and the kids have been a big help, they pretty much designed it.”
To help design the park, Bunn created a youth committee that was instrumental in providing ideas and input for the conceptual drawings of the park.
From there, Hard Core Skate Parks, a construction firm out of Oakland that specializes in skate park construction, got on board.
Ben Hayes of Hard Core said the unique angles and grades used for skate parks are more difficult to create than the hard edges and plumb surfaces most contractors handle, which is why Hard Core specializes in skate parks.
During construction, he said the only major challenge crews faced was getting the concrete from the plant to Lone Pine early enough in the morning so that it could be molded into ramps and grades before the heat of the day solidified it.
He said the plant the company purchased the materials from in Ridgecrest was helpful, making material pick-ups available at about dawn each day of the four-week construction period.
Now that all the hard work is complete, Bunn said she encourages everyone to check out the skate park and attend the grand opening June 30.