Preliminary Designs Revealed for Jake’s Skatepark at the Inner Harbor’s Rash Field

| February 28, 2018 | 3 Comments

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore (WPOB) held a public meeting on Monday night to unveil preliminary designs for Jake’s Skatepark at Rash Field. Grindline Skateparks of Seattle, WA is the designer of the project.

The preliminary design shows a concrete park with bowls, a halfpipe, banks, a set of stairs with a hand rail, ledges, flat ground areas, and benches. The park is surrounded by a black metal fence.

Matt Shaffer, director of marketing and communications for WPOB, told SouthBMore.com that the meeting was attended by about 25 people. He said the meeting went well and that a lot of good feedback was received. He also said the general sentiment from attendees was to make Jake’s Skatepark more of a street skateboarding park. Grindline will make revisions based on the feedback.

The approximate budget for Jake’s Skatepark will be $400,000. It will be funded through capital funds for the redevelopment of Rash Field and through fundraising.

Jake’s Skatepark is named in memory of Jake Owen, a South Baltimore resident, avid skater, and sports lover, who was killed in 2011 when he was five years old by a cell phone-distracted driver.

Following Jake’s passing, his parents, Spike Owen and Susan Yum, worked with local government officials to pass Jake’s Law which makes crashes caused by cell phone-distracted driving resulting in a serious injury or death punishable with up to one year of jail time and up to a $5,000 fine. In 2014, Jake’s Law passed with overwhelming community support.

Spike Owen is a partner of Key Brewing Company, which will lead several fundraisers for Jake’s Skatepark. Key Brewing collaborated with local breweries Checkerspot and Stillwater Artisanal to create a specialty craft beer with sale proceeds going to the park. “Landing Bolts,” named for the popular term used to describe a great accomplishment in skateboarding, is described as an India Pale Lager with the traditional lightness of a lager and the hoppiness of an IPA.

A fundraiser in January was also held at Bustin Boards in Port Covington debuting Baltimore-area professional skateboarder Joey Jett’s movie, “The Art of Skateboarding.”

Donations can also be made at www.jakesskatepark.org.

Construction was originally expected to begin in 2018, but has been pushed back to 2019.

The overall plan for the redevelopment of Rash Field includes The Sand Box, a seven-court beach volleyball area near the center of the park; The Lawn, a natural grass field, which will be used for kids soccer games, pick-up sports games, events, as well as space to relax; Jake’s Skatepark; The Game Allee for bocce ball and ping pong; and the Play Lab for kids, which includes a nature park and kinetic play area.

The plan includes the demolition of the concrete bleachers around Rash Field. The bleachers against Key Hwy. will be replaced by a green wall. There will also be changes in elevation and grade for running and walking paths, landscaping, and gardens. This area will also be the new home of the Pride of Baltimore memorial.

The bleachers on the western end of Rash Field will be replaced by the new pavilion that features a top deck that overlooks the Inner Harbor and has views of the park, skyline, and waterfront. A café with an outdoor patio will be located on the first floor of the pavilion.

To finance the project, WPOB has $10.5 million in capital fund from Baltimore City (although at this time the funds would be released in phases) and $2 million from the State of Maryland. It is looking for sponsors and grants to fund the rest of the redevelopment. The new design is more conducive to sponsorship opportunities within the park, according to WPOB.

The project will either be done in two phases or one phase depending on the availability of funds. If done in phases, phase one would tackle the pavilion and the attractions to the west of the pavilion, which includes The Play Lab and Jake’s Skatepark.

Renderings courtesy of Grindline Skateparks 

Rendering courtesy of Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore 

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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