Bayou Vista skate park to expand, mini golf course addition planned

BAYOU VISTA, La. -- Plans are in the works to expand the Bayou Vista skate park, add a “beginner” section and to construct a mini golf course at the Central Park site.

Stan Robison, chairman of St. Mary Parish Recreation District 3, said the expansion will double the size of the existing skate park from 8,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet.

The reason?

“It’s too crowded. On weekends, when you go over there, it’s just so crowded. It’s unbelievable, and it’s stayed that way,” Robison said.

The tentative plans include construction of a separate location in the same area strictly for beginners. Also planned are an 18-hole mini golf course, which likely would charge an admission fee; and a small “clubhouse” with an office and a party room so it can be rented for birthday parties, Robison said.

The project will be funded with a taxpayer-approved operations and maintenance millage, he said, and there will be no tax increase to support the project. The district’s bonding attorney said the district can sell up to $1.5 million in bonds — to be paid off in eight years — that would be paid by the millage.

Robison added that if funding allows, the district will add more playground equipment to the recent upgrades at the park.

About eight skaters met a couple months ago with Northwest Concrete Structures, which built the current skate park, to tell him what features they would like to see in the new section. Specifically, Robison said, they want stairs and rails, known as “street sets” in skater parlance.

The skate park got its start as a wish made by four teens.

Josiah Gier, Chet Adydan, Brandon Halfen and Zack Theriot attended a St. Mary Parish Recreation District 3 meeting a few years ago and presented the idea that they would like a skate park built in Bayou Vista.

The recreation district didn’t have the money for the park at the time.

Fast forward a few years down the road and 80 percent of the $1 million project was funded with roughly two mills of property tax collected by the district, according to Robison. The other 20 percent came from a combination of the district’s general fund, a $50,000 Louisiana Government Assistance Program grant and a $30,000 federal grant.

Paired with the 8,000-square-foot skate park are a pavilion to serve the needs of family gatherings or family-oriented events and new restroom facilities, new playground equipment and video surveillance equipment for additional security at the park.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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