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Memorial skate park design coming to fruition
Koch Skate Park 07
Designed by Wormhoudt Incorporated, the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park includes rails, ramps, and stairs for skateboarders of all levels. The design was the focus of a public forum on Wednesday, where The Skate Park Community Committee contributed their final suggestions in order to make the park more appealing to skateboarders. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Skate Park Community Committee met for the last time on Wednesday to contribute their final comments regarding the Memorial Skate Park for Brandon Koch, an avid skater who lost his battle with adrenocortical cancer in April 2012.

“Before he passed, he wanted a much better park,” said Koch’s aunt Judith Suliman, who had the Turlock Skate Park renamed in his honor. “He would have loved this.”

To design the park, the committee enlisted the help of Wormhoudt Incorporated, who presented their vision for the park at its new location at Donnelly Park to the Turlock Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission.

The park’s transition from its location on Starr Avenue to Donnelly Park comes after the Turlock City Council voted in August 2013 to move the park due to the sale of the land it sits on to the Turlock Irrigation District.

The City of Turlock used state bond funds to build the skate park and as part of that funding agreement had to wait 10 years before making any significant changes. The expiration date on the agreement is Aug. 15, 2015, and that is the target date for moving the last pieces of the skate park to Donnelly Park.

The park design, complete with rails, stairs, and manual pads, was the focus of the discussion on Wednesday, where Koch’s friends and other committee members contributed their final suggestions in order to make the park more appealing to skateboarders of all skill levels, including switching euro gaps and widening decks.

However, one aspect of the skate park design that did not need alteration was a number of obstacles that resembled cookies throughout the park in order to commemorate Koch. Although Suliman was astonished with the entire park design, she viewed the “cookies” as icing on the cake.

According to Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities superintendent Erik Schulze, Wormhoudt Inc. will add the changes discussed during the public forum before bringing it back to the committee via email for final approval. Once approved, the partners will develop construction documents and the City will go out to bid for the construction of the park.

A tentative schedule details the goal of having the final design completed by July 7 and the awarding of the construction contract on Aug. 11.

When the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park is completed, a lighted Brandon Koch memorial boulder and plaque will be placed to recognize the talented skateboarder and community leader.