The Pleasanton City Council unanimously approved a design for the city’s new skatepark, but voiced concerns over where the money is going to come from for the $9 million project that was once estimated to be in the $5 million to $6 million range.

“I think it’s an extremely attractive design; there’s no doubt it’s well planned out,” said Councilmember Jack Balch during Tuesday’s meeting. “I have no problem with the design. I will say I’m sticker shocked. I’m sitting here and I don’t know where we’re going to go. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t have my support. It just means how do we meet the needs of the community when we’re dealing with water quality issues and transportation issues and things that actually get people to their jobs.”

A new skatepark was identified in the city’s 2014 Parks and Recreation Master Plan “as one of the City of Pleasanton’s more significant deficiencies,” according to a 2021 staff report.

The City Council’s preferred concept design for the planned skateboard facility at Ken Mercer Sports Park in Pleasanton. (Image courtesy of city of Pleasanton via Bay City News)

The city’s parks and recreation commission approved a conceptual design on Feb. 13 for the 1-acre park, to be built at the Ken Mercer Sports Park, adjacent to the city’s other skatepark.

The budget for designing the park is $400,000, of which only $118,381 is estimated to be spent. Though that leaves the city an extra $281,617 for any further design details, the council still has not specified a source for the construction costs.

Estimates say the park will cost $8.5 million, plus another $450,000 for a restroom and $50,000 to put the project out to bid.

The final design approved this week includes 2 additional acres of improvements around the park. It would include a picnic, barbecue and viewing area. There would be additional lighting, 20 new parking spaces nearby, entry features, and different areas for beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters.

Council members suggested that staff contact possible corporate sponsors as funding sources. They also said staff could look at eliminating some of the viewing areas or doing other amenities like the restroom in phases.