The Santa Clarita City Council awarded a design contract Tuesday to Anil Verma Associates Inc. to design the proposed Santa Clarita roller skating rink.
The awarded contract is set to pay the architecture firm $323,800 over the entire course of the design phase, with an added contingency of $32,380, for a total contract amount not to exceed $356,180.
During the public comment section of the meeting, a handful of residents came forward to share their support for Santa Clarita designing, building and opening a public skating area, saying that the sport has come back in recent years both around the country and in Santa Clarita.
“I understand how many people think it’s a fad, but if we invest in it, if we say we’re going to create a space, more people will benefit from it,” said Kelly Tomlin during her time at the podium. “Roller hockey leagues, yoga fitness classes on skates will all help grow this community.”
In opposition to the proposed agenda item, a handful of residents called the idea of designing a roller rink at the cost listed an unwise use of government funds. Others said they had not been informed of this plan, and felt that the city should take more time finding cheaper options before moving with the proposal.
In response to the criticism, City Manager Ken Striplin said that the roller rink proposal did not “just happen” but has been discussed in the past as part of the Santa Clarita 2025 Plan with a public process that weighed a number of different factors.
“One of the things that makes Santa Clarita an amazing place to live is the fact that the City Council places such an emphasis on quality and one of those hallmarks is the fact that we have recreational amenities that address the diversity of needs,” said Striplin, later adding: “(The roller rink) has been talked about for a couple years now.”
In addressing those who said they felt the roller rink proposal needed more public input, Striplin said that, as part of the design phase, there will be elements of public participation to ensure whatever rink or facility the city builds addresses a multitude of needs.
“And then from that design, we will be able to go to construction and get an estimate and actually get a bid on the construction amount,” Striplin said.
The current proposal for the roller rink states that it will be located at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, adjacent to the gymnasium, and is anticipated to include a gated roller-skating rink with a single-story covered structure, shaded spectator seating, an audio booth with a sound system, dasher boards, security cameras, WiFi access point, LED lighting and landscaping.