As costs for Berry Creek park mount, commissioners consider selling naming rights
EAGLE COUNTY ” It has yet to be built, but already the players creating Berry Creek’s playground and skate park are considering how to name it.
Rick Cook, a resident who has led the community effort to bring a skate park to the Edwards development, told the Eagle County commissioners Tuesday he would like to involve local children in the process. He’d like to see a naming contest for the park, which would be built in Miller Ranch near the existing ball fields.
But as the project itself continues to expand in size and scope, and budget, Commissioner Michael Gallagher suggested soliciting naming rights payments from companies to offset the mounting costs.
“I would like to see us make a nickel on it,” Gallagher said.
While the county has budgeted about $500,000 for this project this year ” and plans to break ground in the next month or so ” any additional costs would have to come out of the county’s unallocated capital improvement fund. The balance for that fund is only about $1 million. The county administration has received more than $17 million in project requests for 2005. The county’s anticipated revenue in 2005 for capital projects is expected to be $3.3 million.
Commissioner Arn Menconi said he would like to have users of the park have a stake in the name of the park, but he also expressed concerns about the project going over budget.
The skate park, which wasn’t even considered in the original plans for the 35-acre site, has grown from a 15,000-square-foot facility to a 20,000-square-foot facility to include a “streetscape” area consisting of ramps and rails and a “bowl” area that would simulate the empty-pool skating experience of yesteryear.
The bowl would have varying depths, from 4 feet to 10 feet, to accommodate different skill levels. Building the park is estimated to cost about $1 million. Skate park designers suggested using a pinkish-colored concrete around the edge of the skate park for appearances, but that could add $15,000 to the project.
“The county has committed a pretty generous amount to this facility,” said Commissioner Tom Stone. “I don’t want to add cost to the project.”
Several community groups, including the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District and metro boards in Singletree and Edwards, are pitching in with some funds for the project. Stone suggested asking those partners to help front the additional costs, as well.
A playground is planned to be built next to the skate park. Peter Bergh, a consultant who has been helping the county with the project, presented plans for a playground designed for children ages 2 to 10 years old. The children’s playground would include swings, a jungle gym, slides and spring-loaded toys. The lot will need large-capacity bathrooms to accommodate the playground users and anyone using nearby ball fields. The bathrooms alone were estimated to cost $180,000.
Cook said a group raising funds for the late snowboarder Josh Malay are interested in helping out in exchange for a memorial in Malay’s honor. The majority of the county commissioners were interested in having a feature or a plaque placed on the site for Malay, but were not interested in having the entire park named for the late snowboarder.
Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 607, or at email@example.com.