ENID, Okla. — Enid’s new skate park is on the brink of officially opening after less than a year on the grind.
The 16,000-square-foot park, at Randolph and 5th, is set to officially open Friday with a morning ribbon-cutting and afternoon skating lesson and competition.
Enid native and violinist Kyle Dillingham, known for playing the violin as he skateboards, will headline the 10:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting.
The grand opening, set for 3:30 p.m., will consist of a clinic on basic skateboarding techniques, a skate competition game and giveaways.
Downtown business The Bike Shop has donated a Street Surfing scooter and two Krown skateboards, which all will be giveaways in the competition and raffle. Exist Rocks will be providing T-shirts, stickers and music. The Eat ‘Em Up Hotdogs food truck will be at the event.
“The sky’s the limit with this type of skate park, in my opinion,” Parks and Recreation Supervisor Corey Buller said.
The city will be adding a water fountain in the near future, and the parking and sidewalks will be upgraded after Randolph has been milled and overlayed. Two sets of bleachers were added Tuesday, Buller said.
Ahead of Friday’s grand opening, the skate park already is open to the public from sunrise to sunset, like other city parks, Buller said.
“(The opening will) be officially, officially Friday. But we’re not going to tell anybody, ‘Leave, don’t have fun,’” he said with a laugh.
Construction on the skate park moved down the ramp in August and wrapped on Dec. 23 — a relatively quick turnaround on a city project, Assistant City Manager Scott Morris said, aside from several weeks of weather-related delays.
Los Angeles design firm Spohn Ranch already had a competitive bid submitted through cooperative purchasing agency Sourcewell, which Morris said probably saved the city 90 days of independently designing, bidding and engineering.
Ward 3 Commissioner Ben Ezzell, whose workshop is located across the street, spent a recent afternoon riding in the park once construction was complete.
“There’s very little to say about (the park) because it was the most painless project I have been involved in in my time on city council,” said the two-term commissioner, a skater himself. “Just skating around in circles, drinking coffee was fun. It was just fun,” he said. “Riding it, I can tell that I will never get bored there.”
He and Ward 1 Commissioner Jerry Allen, who helped design the initial park, at 400 W. State, were both on the new park’s design committee, while Buller also recruited local skaters.
For at least the last five or six years, city staff had been looking to replace the park, which Buller called “outdated.”
He said after previous design attempts went nowhere because of lack of funding, everyone got on board with building Enid’s new skate park once funding was secured.
In late 2019 or early 2020, Enid Police Department offered $100,000, wanting to build its planned training center behind the station where the current park stands. That training center is reported to be 3,900 square feet and will begin construction within the month, the News & Eagle reported in December.
The city of Enid then budgeted $300,000 for the park construction, including the $100,000 from EPD.
Buller said he got in contact with skaters while city planning administrator Chris Bauer reached out to Spohn Ranch, which incorporated design element input from Enid’s skaters after a handful of virtual meetings, Buller said.
In May, Bauer presented the city Park Board with Spohn’s three design options, with the board agreeing on the third, and Enid City Commission approved the 100% design in July, with construction beginning shortly after.
The park already sits on city-owned property and is located on a floodplain, while conveniently located near other popular locations such as Government Springs Park and Don Haskins Park, Ezzell said.
Final design and construction came to nearly $379,000, Buller said. Commissioners in July also had approved re-appropriating the additional money from the general fund to cover the extra cost.
Morris said City Manager Jerald Gilbert will form a task force to remove the existing park and turn it over to EPD.