Sidewinder Skatepark Fort Irwin Military Base California
Fort Irwin, located just outside of Barstow in the remote Southern California desert, is the premiere National Training Center for all branches of the US Military. All military personnel being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan must first complete Desert Warfare training at Fort Irwin, which amounts to a large population of soldiers and family members on base looking for ways to occupy their spare time. After the idea of a new skatepark kept popping up at the family advocacy meetings, the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department at Fort Irwin approached us to build a skatepark that they could be really proud of.
After preliminary investigation, we determined that local skaters were using the mellow bank of a nearby defunct batting cage rather than the new steel ramps. By integrating concrete elements into the existing slab and connecting the park to the batting cage ‘bowl’, Spohn Ranch transformed a 7,000 sq. ft. slab into a 15,000 sq. ft. concrete skate plaza at a fraction of the cost of conventional construction. After recycling the loud metal ramps, this skatepark has become one of the Fort’s most vibrant and colorful gathering spaces.
The turnout for the skatepark’s Grand Opening was unbelievable, with a crowd of over 300 skaters, parents, soldiers, and community members. Fort Irwin/National Training Center Commanding General Brig. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, son of the legendary General Creighton Abrams, was on hand to give an inspirational speech to the skaters about respecting the park and their fellow skaters.
Skateboard Park in Fort Irwin, California, United States.
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