Camas hits ‘pause’ on skatepark remodel after lone bid comes in 43% over budget

City officials agree to seek new bids in early 2023

A skateboarder goes over a ramp at a fundraiser for the Camas Skate Park, held on Northeast Fifth Avenue, near Grains of Wrath Brewing in downtown Camas, on June 18, 2019.

Brody Paulson, 14, skates during the Camtown Youth Festival in Camas' Crown Park on June 4, 2022.

A booth at the Camas Camtown Youth Festival in Crown Park on June 4, 2022, shows proposed plans for the Camas Skate Park, which could soon replace aging skateboarding equipment with more durable, poured-concrete elements.

Camas officials have hit “pause” on a long-awaited effort to replace the city’s rundown skatepark equipment with more durable poured-concrete elements after a lone bid came in significantly over the city’s budget.

“The project has had great momentum, but right now we’re in a little bit of a pause,” Camas Parks and Recreation Director Trang Lam told Camas City Council members at the Council’s meeting on Monday, Oct. 3.

Lam said the city recently put out a call for bids on the skatepark’s two-phase remodel, but that, “due to timing and market circumstances,” only received one bid.

Grindline Skateparks, Inc., of Seattle, estimated it would cost a total of $369,473 to complete both phases of the skatepark improvements — an estimate that is 43% higher than the city’s budget for the skatepark remodel.

Grindline estimated that, including more than $28,000 in sales taxes, it would cost the Seattle skatepark-construction company $274,834 to complete the first phase and $94,639 to complete the second phase — estimates that were, respectively, 52% and 35% over the city’s budget, Lam said Monday.

“Because the City only received one bid package at a substantially higher bid price than our estimate, staff recommends that the bid package be rejected and the City rebids the project early next year,” Lam stated in her staff report to the Council. “Rebidding (in early 2023) will likely garner more participants to the process, which allows the City to evaluate multiple bid packages to ensure that we are receiving the most competitive offers.”

The Council voted unanimously to reject Grindline’s bid and go out for more bids on the skatepark remodel in early 2023.

City leaders and skateboard enthusiasts in Camas and Washougal have been working since 2018 to improve the 20-year-old outdoor Camas Skate Park, located at 2900 N.E. Third Avenue near the Camas-Washougal border, and had hoped to see construction begin this fall.

In August, Lam told city officials the skatepark project was put on hold for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but had recently picked up some steam thanks to fundraising efforts by community members, the Camas Parks Foundation and the Parks Foundation of Clark County, which recently added nearly $30,000 to the skatepark improvement efforts.

“There is a lot of energy around this project,” Lam said about the skatepark improvements in August. “This energy has continued over multiple years. A lot of business owners are young adults who came up here and are still skaters … and they’ve stepped up and helped fund this.”

The city allocated $75,000 in its capital budget for the park, and Lam said there is money in the city’s Parks and Recreation capital budget to improve Camas’ parks and trail systems that could be used to help fund the skatepark improvements.

Lam said in August that she also has a personal affinity for the skatepark revamp.

“I grew up skating and have friends that are skaters,” the parks director said, “so it’s close to my heart.”