By Shane Thomas
A new project underway is exciting Santa Clarita’s youth.
There is a new skate park under development in Castaic, CA. This 9,500 square foot area is under construction at the Castaic Sports Complex, and is being built and designed by Spohn Ranch, inc. it is expected to be done by January 2019.
According to Tony Bell, Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s communications deputy, efforts for the skate park started at the local level. The Castaic Town Council devised the idea alongside residents, which will cost an estimated $1.3 million and can comfortably accommodate 50 skaters at a time. This project took action after several meetinsg in 2015 with L.A. County Parks and Recreation, where community members expressed a desire for the park, as Castaic’s previous skate park had been taken down.
In addition, the site will also have new lighting, a covered seating area for onlookers, and clear walkways to stroll around the park. A large majority of the park will be covered with a fabric shade structure to protect from the sun, according to Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Terry Kanakri. This venture will be right off Interstate 5 and about 10 miles north of Santa Clarita.
Outdoor sports and hobbies are hardly practiced within today’s youth.
“The average American child spends five to eight hours a day in front of a digital screen, often at the expense of unstructured play in nature,” Collin O’Mara writes in the article “Kids do not spend nearly enough time outside.”
It is important for exercise and similar activities to continue among students of all ages in the community, as such activities relieve the stress of school work. Skateboarding is an activity that requires both total mental and physical focus, as it is a full bodied creative experience.
Many college students will admit to being stressed due to school.
“Eight in 10 college students say they have sometimes or frequently experienced stress in their daily lives over the past three months,” The American Institute of Stress writes. “This is an increase of 20% from a survey five years ago.”
Furthermore, college students are extremely busy, giving them less time to handle the stress, as well as less time to for outdoor activity.
“According to the National Survey of Student Engagement’s findings, the average student spends about 17 hours each week preparing for classes,” Kathy Pierre writes in the article “How much do you study? Apparently 17 hours a week is the norm.” ”Preparation for classes includes homework, reading and any other assignments.”
The city of Santa Clarita is already home to one skate park, but there is a demand for more and better parks. Skateboarding is extremely accessible and can be done almost anywhere, and is somewhat inexpensive to begin doing.
“I think the new skatepark will be perfect,” local skateboarder Shawn Orlanes said. “I live way to far from the Santa Clarita skate park to be making the commute just to skate. I like all the flat bar rails, [but] the Santa Clarita skate park doesn’t have any flat rails.”
“It is about time they built a park in castaic,” Tim Waters, another local skateboarder, said. “They have been saying they were gonna build one for years now.”
Although this skate park seems great, there is always the added stereotype that skateboarders are punks.