2003 Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association award winners -- Seattle DJC.COM

Community Service

Orcas Island Skateboard Park
Much of the Orcas Island Skateboard Park
was built with the help of volunteers.
Photo courtesy of Orcas Skateboard Foundation

Orcas Island Skateboard Park

Location: Mount Baker Highway, Eastsound

Owner/developer: Orcas Skateboard Foundation

Project team: TaGrindline Skateparks, general contractor, architect and structural engineer; Paul Garwood LLC, concrete contractor; and Sea Island Sand & Gravel, ready-mix supplier

Volunteers, including filmmaker Warren Miller, came together on Orcas Island to build a skateboard park to give local kids an alternative to drugs and alcohol.

Over $230,000 was raised in about three years to fund the 22,000-square-foot park. Concrete was selected because of its durability.

The park was built by Grindline Skateboard Park Co. of Seattle without any advance design or layout. To build the park, complex screed boards were created by attaching a skill saw to a 2-by-4 and cutting plywood to predetermined radii ranging from 5 to 9 feet. Once the first cut was made, the pivot point of the 2-by-4 was moved 4 inches and the next radius cut to finish a screed.

Hand finishing the concrete was difficult due to the park’s many shapes and curves, including several 12-foot-tall walls. Because of that, crews could only handle 5 yards of concrete per truckload. In the end, 110 truckloads carrying about 550 yards of concrete were used to build the park. All the concrete is tied together with 5,000 feet of rebar.

The different radius forms give the finished concrete the perfect shape for skateboarders to flow through the park without angled transitions to contend with. Also, no expansion joints were used, allowing for a smoother ride.

Since it opened last summer, the park has earned a reputation as one of the best in the country.

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