Developmental Scenarios

There are several common ways that skateparks are developed. To best understand these scenarios, it’s important to review the different agencies involved with capital improvements (like skateparks).

City Administrator / Planner
This person is ensures that the skatepark project conforms to all relevant rules and legal requirements, and establishes a schedule for various developmental stages and permits.

General Contractor (GC)
This company is responsible for overseeing the entire park development project. Park projects that contain only a skatepark are less likely to have a general contractor than a park project that has many different improvements happening at the same time, such as new landscaping, a playground, walking paths, lighting and bathrooms, ball fields and courts, and so on. The GC will often communicate technical requirements, like permitting and scheduling requirements, to the skatepark professionals.

Skatepark Designer
This company is responsible for creating the skatepark blueprints and engineering diagrams, as well as working with the community to determine what the park will look like. The designer is required to produce a design that can be built within the defined construction budget, (though the accuracy of their budget estimate is often not known until construction bids come in). The designer will conduct public workshops and meetings to evaluate the skateboarding community’s interests and needs.

Skatepark Builder
This company is responsible for building the skatepark at or under budget.

There are several different ways that the skatepark project can be structured so that it can be bid on by non-governmental companies. These bidding structures are intended to create the least expensive facility without compromising quality, while maintaining free-market neutrality and fairness.

Design-Bid-Build

The “traditional” process used for creating public skateparks requires a vetting process for the designer and the builder separately.

  1. Skatepark advocates meet the city’s requirements so that the project can go to bid.
  2. City outlines project scope.
  3. City issues Requests for Qualifications (or Request for Information) from select designers.
  4. City hires designer.
  5. Designers conduct community design meetings.
  6. Final design and construction documents delivered to City.
  7. Fundraising concludes.
  8. City publishes bid announcement.
  9. Builder is hired.
  10. Construction begins.

Design-Build

The optimal process for creating public skateparks offers the greatest design flexibility to the skatepark design/builder and only requires one vetting process. Many states will not consider design-build options in their skatepark projects.

  1. Skatepark advocates meet the city’s requirements so that the project can go to bid.
  2. City outlines project scope.
  3. City issues Requests for Proposals.
  4. Skatepark company proposals received and reviewed.
  5. City hires one skatepark company to both design and build the skatepark.
  6. Skatepark company hosts community design workshops.
  7. Construction begins.

Sub-contract

The process used when a general contractor (GC) and/or a landscape architect (LA) is in charge of the overall park development. A sub-contracted project can be design-bid-build or design-build. It simply means that the skatepark is not being contracted directly between the City and the skatepark professional but rather being managed by the general contractor or landscape architect. The skatepark designer (and builder) work for the general contractor, and the general contractor works for the city. This can sometimes result in the skateboarding community having less direct contact with the designer.

  1. GC/LA conducts community design workshops.
  2. Skatepark advocates lobby for the skatepark as part of the larger park development.
  3. GC/LA finalize design.
  4. GC/LA hires skatepark designer and/or design-builder.
  5. Construction begins.