HANAPEPE — County officials and the Kaua‘i Skate ‘Ohana finalized plans for the installation of a new “pop-up” skatepark that will sit behind the Hanapepe Fire Station at the Hanapepe Town Park.
“We have volunteers lined up to do part of the installation starting Saturday,” said Mark Cooper of the Kaua‘i Skate ‘Ohana. “We’ll also be back the following Saturday to complete the installation.”
The temporary skatepark is being installed through efforts coordinated by the county’s Planning Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, Kaua‘i Skate ‘Ohana, and community volunteers.
The “Pop Up” skatepark includes two skate halfpipes — a 3-feet, and a 6-feet in height — and is being put on the ground after officials received hundreds of testimonies during the development of the county’s West Kaua‘i Community Plan, requesting more skateboarding facilities on the Westside.
“There is an abundance of parks for every single sport except for skateboarding,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “As we provide more skateparks like the one in Kapa‘a, and Lihu‘e, we are seeing more and more keiki enjoying life because they have a safe place to express themselves.”
“This site in the Hanapepe Town Park is a good place to have the park because it is close and safely accessible for students at the ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School,” Kawakami said. “It is also in line with Ed Justus and the Talk Story Bookstore who supported a skatepark for a long time. He can see it every day at work.”
The cost of the Hanapepe skatepark totals approximately $35,000, and is being funded through a quick-build grant from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health with a purpose to enhance public spaces in ways that will encourage physical activity. The grant provides funding for projects that can be quickly implemented in months instead of years and that can help the community envision more permanent, long-term solutions.
“This project would not be possible without the many hands involved,” Kawakami said. “Mahalo to Lee Steinmetz and our Planning Department, the state DOH, Gregg Pacilio, Mark Cooper, and the Kaua‘i Skate ‘Ohana, and our Parks Department.”
A similar pop-up skatepark sprung up at the Lihu‘e Civic Center last October through a quick-build grant from the DOH as an effort to bring purpose and new life to the underutilized space until a long-term use is considered.
“These halfpipes are temporary and will be utilized to test the facility’s usage and impact on the surrounding area,” said Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull. “If there are little to no negative impacts, the county can begin to look at siting a permanent skate facility at this site. On the other hand, if there is low usage and/or considerable impacts, we can remove the skatepark with relative ease and expediency.”
Officials anticipate construction of the pop-up skatepark will be completed in mid-July. An announcement will be made when the skatepark opens to the public.
Source: The Garden Island