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Posted on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

City releases request for proposals for Ann Arbor Skatepark

By Ryan J. Stanton


This is a conceptual drawing of what a skatepark in Ann Arbor could look like.

Courtesy of Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark

The city of Ann Arbor is seeking the help of a reputable design firm to help draw up plans for a world-class skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park.

The city put out a request for proposals with the goal of finding a qualified consultant to design, engineer and oversee construction of a concrete skatepark at Vets Park.

Bids are due to the city by May 4.

In order to qualify to submit a proposal, the company must have a minimum of 10 years experience designing and building or overseeing construction of custom, site-specific, poured-in-place, concrete skateparks. Experience primarily with prefabricated elements and surfaces automatically disqualifies consultants from submitting proposals.


A sign posted downtown lets skateboarders know they're not welcome on city streets and sidewalks. But they will be welcome at a new skatepark.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The winning bidder also must have a reputation among skateboarders as a reputable skatepark designer with a track record of having designed and built or overseen the construction of at least 10 skateparks of a similar scope that have been in place for at least 10 years.

A pre-proposal meeting will be held at 4 p.m. April 26 at the site of the proposed skatepark near the corner of Dexter Avenue and Maple Road.

In the event of rain, the meeting will be held in the picnic shelter at the south side of the baseball fields.

According to the RFP, the meeting is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended that at least one representative from the design team be present.

The city is encouraging design consultants who are considering responding to the RFP to also respond to a yet-to-be-released build RFP for the actual construction.

"The site allows for an approximately 30,000-square-foot skatepark," the RFP states. "The design must include, but not necessarily be limited to, both 'street' (e.g. flat surfaces, stairs, rails) and 'transitional' elements (e.g. bowls, pools, curved surfaces, halfpipes), lighting and seating, and must accommodate skaters at a range of skill levels, from beginners to advanced."

Trevor Staples, president of the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, could not be reached for comment. The group announced last month construction — which some originally had hoped would begin later this year — won't begin until next spring.

The scope of services outlined in the RFP includes design and preparation of plans, specifications and cost estimates, construction oversight, contract administration, public presentations, planning document preparation and permit applications.

The RFP stipulates the final plan must meet all stormwater management and other environmental requirements and must complement the current park landscape.

The design must preserve the existing trees and, where practical, incorporate solar-powered lights, drought-resistant species, and low-maintenance ground covers, the RFP states.

The approved contractor also must meet the city's living wage requirement. Effective May 1, companies doing more than $10,000 of work with the city in a 12-month period must pay their employees at least $13.57 per hour or $12.17 per hour plus health care benefits.

It's estimated it will take four months to complete the $1 million project once construction begins next spring, according to the timeline released last month.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

"The winning bidder also must have .... a track record of having designed and built or overseen the construction of at least 10 skateparks of a similar scope that have been in place for at least 10 years." These criteria are going to be very difficult to meet. According to the Concrete Disciples database (, there are only 13 concrete-surfaced skateparks worldwide of 30,000 square feet or larger. Seven of these are in the US; currently only 3 are in operation. Pictures of the seven sites show what appears to me to be recent construction. One in operation was built in 2008, another in 2011, with no date given for the third. As a result of this study, I doubt that there were at least 10 such skateparks in existence in 2002, have been in use since then, and, if so, doubt even more that a single designer/builder was responsible for them all!

Will Hathaway

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Congratulations to all the people who worked for years to rally community support and raise the money to pay for the skatepark! I applaud their wisdom in fundraising not just for construction but for ongoing maintenance. I am glad to know that this dream is on its way to becoming a reality.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

Nice. Another park to maintain for which we have no funding. Hopefully we also will spend more of our nonexistent dollars on a foreign sculpture. Preferably one that looks like a toilette because we are just flushing more money down the drain.

Ron Granger

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

"We" have funding for our parks. A million dollars was raised for this one. You might look elsewhere if you want a city that doesn't fund parks.

Ron Granger

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Seven days? Those limbs won't last 7 minutes. I know multiple people who'd break a limb just to forever be known as the first broken bone in the A2 skate park. And beware of those who would fake that broken bone. Never trust a theatre student who has access to fake blood. I propose a public art project - a "broken bone wall of shame". Of course it would require certification via x-ray.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Starting a Broken-Limb-Pool, $1 a square. I have the first 7 days of operation. Next?


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

Who knows, some of those instrumental in the park being built might even still be young enough to use it when its done.