Construction on the expansion of the Wakefield Skatepark, located next to the in Annandale, is officially underway.
The Fairfax County Park Authority broke ground earlier this month — close to a year after the design project first began.
The park, which is the Park Authority’s first skatepark, currently offers two courses (freestyle and competition) and several different facilities, including a four-quarter pipe, grind rails and boxes, for use by skateboarders and BMX riders.
According to Judy Pedersen, public information officer with the Fairfax County Park Authority, an additional 6,220 square feet of concrete skating area will be added to the existing 21,500 square foot facility, and a 400 square foot shade structure will be placed in the center of the new facility.
The goal of the expansion is to include a variety of uses for a range of age and experience levels. The expansion is funded through the 2008 Park Bond. Total cost is estimated around $388,000.
“The addition will have ramps, rails and a large skate area, along with a covered oasis in the middle of the expansion,” said Pedersen in an e-mail to Patch. The changes will also include adding “elements skaters would find in typical public spaces such as benches, stairs and curbs.”
Recently, the Park Authority modified the admission policy for Wakefield Skatepark in March and there is no longer a daily admission policy for free skating.
“All skaters must use the park as skate at your own risk, as the site is now unsupervised during its operating hours. Skaters are still strongly encouraged to wear all protective equipment to help prevent injuries,” said Pedersen.
Although Wakefield Skatepark officially opened in 2004, Pedersen said the push to build the park began a few years before that.
“Young people got this whole thing started back in the late 1990's when they began to lobby for a skate park and went to visit then-Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova and then-Park Board member Winnie Shapiro. Those efforts led to the current facility,” Pedersen said. “Recently, area teens worked with our planning team to help design the expansion at this facility as well as a new skate park that will break ground this summer at Lake Fairfax.”
The Park Authority anticipates construction to be completed later this summer.
For more information, visit the skatepark’s website.
Annandale Patch freelance reporter Monica Boland contributed to this story.