Two months after Camas officials “hit pause” on a long-awaited effort to revamp the city’s 20-year-old skatepark, the Camas City Council approved a $350,403 bid from Lee Contractors of Battle Ground to replace the park’s aging equipment with concrete elements that will cater to skateboarders of all levels and better withstand the weather.
In September, the city received one construction bid for the skatepark remodel, which Camas Parks and Recreation Director Trang Lam later described as “substantially higher than the engineer’s cost estimate.”
That bid, from Grindline Skateparks, Inc., of Seattle, estimated it would cost a total of $369,473 to complete both phases of the skatepark improvements — a figure that was 43 percent higher than the city’s estimate for the skatepark remodel.
The Camas City Council rejected Grindline’s bid during its Oct. 3 meeting and agreed to rebid the project again in 2023.
But on Dec. 5, Lam returned to the city council with some good news about the bidding process.
“Staff’s primary concern was that construction during the winter months was not feasible,” which is why staff recommended rebidding the project in 2023, Lam told the council. However, staff has since learned that winter construction on the skatepark is actually doable, Lam said.
“By pushing the construction period up, it allows the city to align park closure (for construction) during months that the park is least used,” Lam told the council.
The council had approved a new plan to rebid the project in late October, and the city received two bids on Nov. 18, Lam said.
Both bids “helped confirm that construction costs have escalated substantially in the last year,” Lam said.
“Unfortunately, both bid packages are higher than the engineer’s cost estimate for the project; however, the low bidder in this process is also lower compared to the initial September bid process submittal.”
Lam recommended that city officials approve the lowest bidder, Lee Contractors, for $350,403, with a 10 percent contingency fund, and construct the entire project, which will, according to Lam, “provide all levels of skating experiences — from beginner all the way to advanced.”
Had the council chosen to fund just the first phase of the project, Lam said, the revamp would have benefited only the more advanced skaters, “leaving intermediate and beginning skaters with limited skate design elements to practice on.”
“Advancing the entire project would be the most beneficial to the community, especially our youth,” Lam said.
In the end, the council agreed. Members voted unanimously Dec. 5 to award the contract to Lee Contractors.
“There is a lot of energy around this project,” Lam said about the skatepark improvements in August. “This energy has continued over multiple years. A lot of business owners are young adults who came up here and are still skaters … and they’ve stepped up and helped fund this.”
The city allocated $75,000 in its capital budget for the park, and Lam said there is money in the city’s Parks and Recreation capital budget to improve Camas’ parks and trail systems that could be used to help fund the skatepark improvements.
The skatepark is located at 2900 N.E. Third Ave. in Camas.