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Brawley skate park passes second hurdle, moves ahead

April 24, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — This city's proposed skate park crossed another hurdle Tuesday as the Brawley Elementary School District board voted to allow the city to build a baseball field on land the district and city share.

The city now can go before the Brawley Union High School District board to finalize a land swap in which BUHS would provide the city land for a skate park. In return the city would build a baseball field for the high school.

The three-way deal between the city and school districts became necessary as the City Council looked to build a skate park on the field west of the Lions Center gymnasium. That field belongs to BUHS and is used by the district as a practice site for its baseball program.


The high school district board has voted 3-2 to support the land swap in concept but the condition was set that the city provide a replacement ballpark for BUHS. That is where the elementary district came into play.

The city and the elementary district have a joint-use agreement for land in the Parkside Estates area upon which plans call for the building of a school and park.

It is upon the that land hat city officials sought to build the ballpark. To do that the joint-use agreement with the elementary district had to be amended.

The City Council, in a meeting earlier this month, approved the amendment.

City Parks and Recreation Director Karin Morgan said if the BUHS board gives final approval to the land swap, the skate park project could go out to bid before the end of the fiscal year in June.

Garth Isom, BUHS superintendent, said he does not expect the board to reverse its support for the land swap and skate park.

He has said such a park would provide a safe site for youths to practice skateboarding and in-line skating.

Information was unavailable this morning on when the high school board might discuss finalizing the land swap.

The city has about $390,000 set aside for the building of the skate park and the baseball field. That funding includes a $140,000 state grant, $150,000 in development impact fees and $100,000 from the city general fund.

Once a bid for the project is awarded to a construction firm, the skate park could be built in two months. City officials have said they expect the park to be in use in the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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