An idea over five years in the making is coming to fruition as crews continue to work towards completion of the Oakdale Community Park. The project was made possible through a state grant award received by the City and earmarked specifically for a park of this nature.
In August of 2016 Oakdale City Council approved the final bid for construction and work began a month later. While initial estimates of completion were set at April or May of this year, a wet winter proved as a factor which set the date back.
“Estimated completion is September at the latest,” Jeff Gravel, City of Oakdale Public Services Director stated.
He added that an official Grand Opening Ceremony of the park is set for Sept. 16, 2017.
“We’re going to attempt to open a portion of the park, maybe the skate park first in the middle of next month,” he continued.
As many as 20 construction crew members can be found on the South Yosemite park site on any given day as they work toward making progress in stages. The semi-narrow strip runs parallel to South Yosemite Avenue, creating some road blocks in the early stages as crews began work. The work has been done in phases beginning with the most southern and largest concrete portion of the park area.
“The major part of the delay was the weather through the winter,” Gravel stated. “Logistics were very difficult. We had one way in because of the streets, so we had to push it back.”
The area designated as the Jason Turnage Skate Park, covers close to half of the total space. It offers a variety of “bowls” as well as elevations for skate enthusiasts to practice and perfect their skills. Lighting has also been installed in the skate park area to allow shredding well after the sun goes down.
“It will be lit all night. In terms of security and oversight that’s something we still have to work out,” the Public Services Director noted.
The park is fully contained by wrought iron fencing and features four separate gate entrances which will be locked at night. Hours of the park have yet to be determined.
Gravel referred to a small structure in the center as of the park as a building for future snack shack opportunities, as well as offering storage and public restrooms.
As the skate park portion is being completed and finalized, work continues on the “Tot Lot” area, which is situated in the center and leads to the Amphitheater area. The Amphitheater area will be the largest turf area and will be sloped to allow for more seating. It also offers a large play area for occasions when events are not being hosted on the stage.
“Mature oaks and a variety of trees will be planted for shade,” Gravel shared. “The City is very fortunate. They applied for a grant and hit all the points to receive it. There’s no general fund money going into this.”
The grant was an ‘all in’ for the city.
“This money is specifically for this,” he continued. “If we didn’t build this, we don’t get the money.”
The park will also include basketball courts, exercise area, as well as a path which circles the perimeter allowing for trail walking.
“This is nothing like anything we’ve done in the city,” Gravel said of the overall scope of work and the opportunities it will provide for the community. “It is a complete park.”