The Ann Arbor Skatepark opened in June 2014, after many years of grassroots fundraising and eventual government support. The skatepark is located in the northwest corner of Ann Arbor's Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Dexter Avenue and North Maple Road.
It is open regular park hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The skatepark is accessible by routes of the public bus service, The Ride.
The skatepark is overseen by the city's Skatepark Advisory Committee, which was created and appointed in April 2015. The nonprofit Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark continues to fundraise for maintenance and an endowment.
The city's originally approved budget for the project was $800,000 – though the expectation was that the project would cost about $1 million. The total budget approved by city council in July 2013 – including the construction contract, 10% contingency and $89,560 design contract – is $1,224,311, or $424,311 higher than the originally budgeted $800,000. Funds to pay for the skatepark include a $400,000 grant from the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission, $300,000 from the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Trust Fund, and $100,00 raised by the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, which paid for the skatepark’s design.
The city identified funds from a variety of sources to make up the gap.
- $110,463 from uncommitted funds available in the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage fund balance. The amount reflects a $45,000 decrease in the amount the city will contribute, because the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark recently learned that they will receive a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. Of that, $5,000 will go into the maintenance endowment.
- $80,000 from the city’s stormwater capital budget for rain gardens, to be repaid as a loan to the state revolving fund (SRF). The city expects a 50% loan forgiveness on this amount.
- $32,356 from the FY 2014 parks memorial and contributions fund (the Feldman Trust) for landscaping plantings.
- $30,356 from the FY 2014 parks maintenance and capital improvements millage.
- $22,977 from the FY 2014 parks and recreation services general fund operating budget – from the “parks fairness” funds resulting from other budget amendments made by the council.
In addition, up to $103,159 in uncommitted funds are available in the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage fund balance to cover a 10% construction contingency. Any unspent portion of this amount will be returned to the fund balance.
April 6, 2015: Ann Arbor City Council votes to establish a Skatepark Advisory Committee and appoint its members. From the council resolution: "The Committee shall consist of up to 9 members appointed by City Council and shall include at least 1 person from each of the following: City park staff, Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission staff, and the City Park Advisory Commission; and at least 2 persons who are either a director or officer of the Friends. Committee member terms shall be 2 years..."
Committee members are: Trevor Staples, Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark; Joe Galante, Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark; David Santacroce, Park Advisory Commission; Jeff Dehring, Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission Staff; Colin Smith, Parks and Recreation Services Manager; Amy Kuras, Parks and Recreation Services Park Planner; Erika Pratt, Parks and Recreation Services Volunteer Outreach Coordinator; and Steve Kunselman, City Councilmember.
June 21, 2014: Grand opening of the skatepark features professional skateboarder Tony Hawk.
July 15, 2013: Ann Arbor City Council approves a $1,031,592 contract with Krull Construction for skatepark construction.
June 8, 2013: Ann Arbor park advisory commission recommends approval of the skatepark construction budget.
January 2013: Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approves the design for the skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park.
October 2012: Public meeting held in City Council chambers to present concept plan and receive input on plan.
October 2012: City Council accepts $400,000 grant from Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and $300,000 from the State of Michigan DNR Trust Fund for development of a skate park in the NW corner of Veterans Memorial Park.
2011: PAC and City Council approve applying for a grant with the State Dept. of Natural Resources for construction of the skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park.
2010: Public meeting is held at Slauson Middle School to obtain input for development of a concept plan. Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission pledges $400,000 to the project.
December 2008: City Council approves a memorandum of intent (MOI) between the City and the Skatepark Action Committee. In the recitals, the NW parcel of land in Veterans Memorial Park is designated for the construction of a skatepark. This was a crucial step as it facilitated fundraising by providing a space for the skate park as long as construction commenced by January 1, 2014. [ Skatepark MOI Agreement.pdf]
March, May & November 2008: Three public hearings are held at the monthly meetings of the Ann Arbor park advisory commission (PAC). In May, a public hearing was held on the ‘Proposed Skate Park Site in Northwest portion of Veterans Memorial Park’ where 16 people spoke. PAC unanimously passed a resolution in support of the location. Over 125 people attended the meeting in support of the skatepark.
January 2008: A public meeting is held at Scarlett Middle School to discuss skatepark design.
October 2007: A2 Skatepark Action Committee makes a presentation to the Ann Arbor park advisory commission (PAC).
2005: A2 Skatepark Action Committee is formed to advocate for construction of a permanent, 30,000 square foot, in-ground concrete skate park.
In the news
City looks to ensure smooth operation of Ann Arbor Skatepark for years to come – MLive, April 7, 2015
Ann Arbor Skatepark Exceeds Expectations – WEMU, Oct. 14, 2014
Construction Of Ann Arbor Skatepark Ramping Up Again After Winter Melts Away – WEMU, April 15, 2014
Interest in Ann Arbor Skatepark Growing – WEMU, April 14, 2014
Photo gallery: Ann Arbor Skatepark taking shape – AnnArbor.com, Oct. 8, 2013
Video: Trevor Staples talks about breaking ground on the Ann Arbor Skatepark – AnnArbor.com, Aug. 9, 2013
Ann Arbor Skatepark Construction OK’d – The Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 15, 2013
City releases request for proposals for Ann Arbor Skatepark – AnnArbor.com, April 19, 2012
Ann Arbor skate park update: 'We're going to do what we can to get this done as fast as we can' – AnnArbor.com, Jan. 10, 2012
Ann Arbor seeking state grants for skatepark project, upgrades at Argo and Gallup parks – AnnArbor.com, March 22, 2011
Auction of artistic decks to raise funds for planned Ann Arbor skate park – Ann Arbor News, May 13, 2009