During its Monday meeting, the Carpinteria City Council voted unanimously to award a $2 million construction contract to Lash Construction, Inc. for a new skate park.

Lash Construction’s $2,089,242 bid — nearly 50% over the original engineer’s estimate of $1.4 million — first came to the City Council at its Feb. 14 meeting as the only bid submitted.

At that time, the council members deferred a decision on the contract and directed staff to return with a bid analysis report. 

It was noted in the item’s staff report that Lash Construction’s bid corroborates with current construction cost trends, which have increased significantly since the engineer’s estimate was prepared.

Since the City Council ultimately awarded the contract, it also addressed the $696,000 funding shortfall that was a result of the higher bid.

The Carpinteria City Council had the option to use city funding sources or to split the cost with the Carpinteria Skate Foundation, who has been working towards the creation of the skate park since 2009.

“We all know what a great job the foundation has done, is doing, and will do, but when I read the staff report and the cost sharing scenario, I was very concerned about the foundation being able to raise over $300,000 in a short period of time,” said public commenter Russel Ruiz, whose daughter skates and is looking forward to the skate park.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — I was really impressed with the staff report giving you real, reasonable, feasible options including the one I’m advocating. You can take that action tonight, and we’re off and running.”

During the meeting, the City Council decided to authorize a budget increase and use funds from the City’s General Fund Special Projects Reserve.

The project and the city’s decision that moves the skate park project forward has been met with support and excitement from the community, from kids who skate to parents and teachers invested in providing spaces for local youth.

“Improving our community really has been at the heart of our motivation as an organization to bring a skate park to Carpinteria,” said Peter Bonning, vice president and founding member of the Carpinteria Skate Foundation.

“The completion of this park is the first step in us realizing our vision for the community, which is a multi-generational meeting spot, a multi-use recreational facility that brings the community together in a way that we’ve never seen or experienced before.”

Bonning also added that the foundation has partnered with Carpinteria Unified School District to develop an after-school youth mentoring program for middle school students that would also incorporate Carpinteria High School students.

City staff will now begin preparing the construction contract and the notice to proceed is expected to be issued in April, with construction closeout projected for January 2023. 

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at sguentz@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at sguentz@noozhawk.com.