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Ocean View Skatepark in the Works

October 24, 2019, 1:07 PM HST
* Updated October 24, 3:38 PM
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Community advocates planning to construct a new skatepark in Ocean View will meet with the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation early next month to discuss locations.

Travis Aucoin, a long-time skateboarder who helped make the skatepark at Old Kona Airport Park a reality, teamed up with Kaimi Kaupiko of Miloli‘i-based nonprofit Kalani Hale to get the ball rolling on the project. He said he did so because he feels the area is in desperate need of recreational options for its youth.

“We have no where to skate in Ocean View, or anywhere on the south side of the island — no parking lots, no sidewalks,” Aucoin said. “I talked to kids about what they want in a skatepark. They want ramps, bowls and half pipes. We’re going to have a design workshop at some point.”

The prospective project is not linked to the Kā‘u Skate Club’s proposal to build a skating rink, dog park and pavilion on 10 acres of land in Ocean View next to Kuhuku Park.

However, the proposal Aucoin will pitch Parks and Rec on Nov. 4 is for a quarter-acre in the same vicinity — on County land behind the basketball court in Kuhuku Park. The County could plan to merge the two, but that’s not currently the plan.

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“(They’ll be) separate we think,” said Maurice Messina, deputy director of Parks and Rec. “We need to hear their proposal.”

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Aucoin said the design, which is being handled by Billy and Catherine Coulon of Evergreen Skateparks out of Portland, will likely include a skate area of 5,000 to 7,000 square feet with some seating and potentially an area covered by a rooftop.

Preliminary guesses at a price tag are between $200,000 and $300,000. That money will have to come from grants and fundraising efforts, Kaupiko said. He’s currently in the process of writing grant proposals and donation letters and will also work with the state to find funding sources.

Aucoin is being advised by the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has provided him grant funding information, as well.

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Donations aren’t limited to money. Aucoin said much of the concrete for the Kona skatepark was donated, which brought the overall cost down significantly.

An open skate contest is planned for Saturday, Oct. 26 in Kona, where Aucoin will officially announce the Ocean View Skate Park Advocacy Group. Miller’s Surf and Sport is sponsoring the skate and providing prizes.

Future fundraising events are in the works, Aucoin and Kaupiko said, and will be announced sometime after the Nov. 4 meeting with Parks and Rec.

The men are hoping to stage the design workshop before the end of the year. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Kaupiko said the goal is to complete the park inside of two years.

“There are lots of kids from Ocean View who need a safe place,” he said. “I like the idea of a skate park. A lot of the kids skate.”

Kaupiko’s sentiment is widely shared throughout the community, according to the early response Aucoin has received as he’s floated the idea throughout various skating and community circles.

“People have inspired me and are supporting and guiding me along the way,” he said. “I’m feeling a lot of support.”

Anyone interested in donating or finding out more information on the project can visit kalanihale.org or email Kaupiko at [email protected].

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