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Skatepark contractor in hot water with city

Delays and a proposed redesign place Grindline and Scappoose officials at odds


by: SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - The original concept for the park was supposed to be installed by May 31. The Scappoose skatepark is overdue for a much-needed remodel, and so far city officials are unimpressed—even angry—with the contractor awarded the $125,000 contract to bring the park up to snuff.

The city of Scappoose signed a contract with Grindline Skateparks, Inc., one of the nation's leading concrete skatepark builders based in Seattle, that went into effect Feb. 2 with a projected completion date of May 31. The completion date specified in the request for bids was timed to coincide with the end of the school year, hence giving the city's youth a newly remodeled park to enjoy for the summer.

So far, Grindline has bored holes in the existing park to examine the concrete, but has not begun construction. The company has also proposed a last-minute deviation from its original plan that would decrease the size of the park by 500 square feet.

“Personally, I am very unimpressed with their changes,” said Scappoose City Counsellor Jeff Erickson who also served as chair of the Skatepark Request for Proposal Committee, in an email exchange with Jon Hanken and Grindline.

“If this is what we knew we were getting, there is no way they would have won the bid. Their 'revision' is not acceptable in my opinion and lacks many key obstacles, like an entire half pipe. I do not want to proceed with this [revised] plan. I want to see the city build the proposed plan they were submitted and were informed they could complete. Absolutely do not build this lame attempt at a skatepark,” the email continues.

Hanken said the city signed a contract with Grindline based on the plan its representatives had submitted.

“We awarded [Grindline] the bid based on their original concept,” he said. “To take out 500 feet at this point is unacceptable.”

Hanken added that liquidated damages, a penalty Grindline would have to pay the city for missing its targeted deadlines, on the project will start June 22 at $500 a day. There is also a performance bond in the amount of $30,000.

Hanken said the city may cash the bond and find another skatepark contractor if Grindeline remains stagnant.

“I'm surprised they haven't put anything in writing for the staff,” said Scappoose City Councillor Donna Gedlich. “I'm worried about the job they will do.”

Grindline was unwilling to speak with The Spotlight on the project.

Hanken said he expected the original concept presented by the company to be tweaked before it was built, but not entirely redesigned. “We said we wanted what was in the concept,” Hanken said. “To chance the plan at the last minute is unfair and probably illegal. Now they're trying to cut every corner they can.”

Grindline Designers initially planned to demolish only some aspects of the old park and pour over the remaining features. Now, the company's structural engineers would rather demolish the old park entirely and start from scratch.

Micah Shapiro, Sales Manager and lead designer at Grindline explained the company's new approach in an email to Hanken.

“We have had to reduce the square footage slightly to cover the costs of demolition. The original concrete area was 4,500 square feet and we have reduced it to 4,000 square feet.” Shapiro wrote.

Currently, the park is around 4,900 square feet, Hanken said.