Arlington, VA

Demolition work is now fully underway at the Powhatan Springs Skate Park, as part of an effort to fully overhaul the 14-year-old facility.

The park, located at 6020 Wilson Boulevard in the Boulevard Manor neighborhood, is the county’s only park designed specifically for skateboarders. The County Board gave the green light for construction to get started back in May, as the facility had started to deteriorate and needed a facelift, and workers started tearing down the park earlier this month.

In all, crews will “remove some 500 cubic yards of poured concrete weighing nearly 2 million pounds,” according to a news release, and then transport that concrete to a county facility in Shirlington to crush it up. The county plans to use the rubble that remains “as the base layer of crushed rock beneath rebuilt county roads, providing drainage and stability for the asphalt that sits on top.”

“While recycling the concrete rubble of the old park won’t save the county a lot of money, it will reduce waste, consistent with Arlington’s commitment to environmental consciousness and stewardship,” the county wrote in the release.

Workers hope to finish removing all the concrete from the site by the time the month is up, then plan to start work on some stormwater management upgrades and electrical work. By mid-September, the county hopes to have a contractor starting work on the new park features, which include a completely new set of bowls and half pipes for skaters.

The county hopes to have the new park open by early next year.

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(Updated on Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.)Arlington County is seeking the public’s opinion for the new design of Powhatan Springs Skatepark (6020 Wilson Blvd).

Residents had the chance to vote for their favorite preliminary design of the skatepark during a showcase last Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Arlington Mill Community Center. Those who could not attend the presentation can vote on the designs on the skate park website.

“In the case of the skate park, we are reaching out to the community of skaters and non-skaters for their feedback on preliminary concepts intended to meet the active and passive needs of a diverse audience. The skating community clearly understands the value of providing input for the skate park’s schematic designs,” said Wilfredo Calderon, a spokesman with the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The county currently has three different concepts for a renovated skatepark, which were created using community feedback, Calderon said.

The county is looking to renovate the 11-year-old skatepark due to aging equipment, he said, adding that some of the existing structures had a seven to 10 year lifespan.

“Any consideration of replacing  elements should take into consideration that needs tend to change over time and an active skate park is no different,” he said.

The skatepark project is in the beginning stages. Once a design is picked, the Department of Parks and Recreation will submit the project to the County Board as part of the Capital Improvement Plan, Calderon said. The skatepark is being designed by Team Pain, a skatepark design firm, and Gordon Construction, according to the park’s website.

“In short, a new design, if effective, will enhance the skate park by replacing elements that have reached their end of life cycle and introduce components and elements that current skaters want to see in the park,” Calderon said.

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(Updated at 7:55 p.m.) John Malvar, an 18-year-old Arlington high school student, died after a skateboarding accident in Arlington Heights this afternoon.

The accident happened on the 300 block of S. Highland Street around 12:30 p.m. According to police, Malvar was skateboarding down the street while hanging on to the side of a pickup truck, driven by a 17-year-old male student at an unknown rate of speed.

Malvar somehow lost his balance and fell to the ground, hitting his head. He was not wearing a helmet. The fall caused “significant head trauma” and left a large pool of blood on the ground.

John Malvar (photo via Instagram)The teen was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived on scene, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Medics performed CPR, Malvar regained a pulse, and he was rushed to George Washington University in critical condition, Sternbeck said. He was later pronounced dead.

Charges — reckless driving, most likely — are pending against the 17-year-old driver, according to Sternbeck. Malvar and the driver attend both Washington-Lee High School and the Arlington Career Center, according to Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia.

Malvar attended his senior prom last week, posting photos of himself and his date on Instagram (right). Washington-Lee High School’s graduation is set for June 20.

The 300 block of S. Highland Street was closed for several hours while crime scene investigators took photos and measurements of the accident scene. Detectives also interviewed witnesses and canvassed the street to see if any video surveillance systems might have recorded the moments prior to the accident.

Via Twitter, Washington-Lee Principal Gregg Robertson called Malvar “an awesome kid” who was proud of his perfect attendance this year. Robertson sent the following email to parents late this afternoon.

Dear Washington-Lee Community,

Regrettably, I must inform you that the injured student I mentioned in my earlier email has died. This is a difficult time for the Washington-Lee staff, students, and parents. The student involved was an incredible young man who contributed positively in many ways to our school and lives. The upcoming days will be difficult ones as we will be missing him and providing support to our Washington-Lee family. Please let us know of any students who may need individualized support. We have counselors available this evening until 6:00 pm and in the days to come. As I mentioned earlier, our thoughts remain with the families involved.

Sincerely,

Gregg

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