City of Pleasanton to expand Ken Mercer skatepark

People+of+all+ages+visit+the+Ken+Mercer+skatepark+to+try+new+tricks+and+spend+time+with+friends.

Leila Touati

People of all ages visit the Ken Mercer skatepark to try new tricks and spend time with friends.

The City of Pleasanton is continuing its plans to build a more inclusive skatepark that increases the size of the Ken Mercer skatepark.

“The skater’s call [the skatepark] FGO — I used to go to FGO and Emerald Glen. I heard they’re doing a community thing where they’re building it up to be massive. There’s another skatepark in Fremont and it’s supposed to be similar to that one — there’s going to be a pummel track [and] it sounds cool,” said Soren Pagtakhan (‘23).

Approximately one acre of skatepark will be added to the existing one. Pleasanton is in need for another skatepark due to its population growth, and it is one of the more significant recreation deficiencies. 

“I think [the current skatepark] is fine but it is a bit small and there’s also no lights so when it gets dark at around five p.m. you can’t really skate at all,” said Andrew Weckwerth (‘24).

After doing public outreach, the city states that the new skatepark will include pathways, parking, lighting, and other features necessary for the design. It will also incorporate beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections as well as a mixture of flow and street course.

“The biggest challenge is that after we did such a good job of taking all the public input and working with the skaters and everything to give them the facility that they expressed belief for, we found out that the cost would be in the $8 million to $9 million range toward construction of the skatepark, which is a huge amount especially given the fact that we have not set aside any money for construction,” said Landscape Architect Matt Gruber, project manager.

With no money for construction, no set date for building the skatepark is set, as concept and design plans are still in the works. Hypothetically, it would take another year for design plans, and nine months to two years for construction.

“It’s going to be long process like most projects done by the city are. I can’t give a specific date because it all depends on what the council says on the priorities amongst all the different projects and whether we are able to find funding for the project. If there was some sort of group that came forward and donated a big amount that would certainly help the project,” said Gruber.

Youth in Pleasanton have pushed for the new skatepark considerably, attending the commission meetings and giving their input

“It wouldn’t have gotten the initial design without that effort. It was definitely a student-driven effort that got this ball rolling and I hope to see it continue moving forward. I think students are going to continue to make their voice heard and have the project continue to move forward,” said Gruber.