Washington / Jefferson Skatepark and Urban Plaza


I recently organized a tour of the brand new Washington Jefferson Skatepark and Urban Plaza.  It was organized for the local AIA Design Spring (emerging professionals) group as one of their monthly events.  Thanks go out to Dwayne Strickland, project manager from 2G construction for scheduling and agreeing to do the tour, Adam Steffen of the City of Eugene for providing detailed information about the process and for providing the links to the drawings and pictures, and to Emily Proudfoot of the City of Eugene for providing the background and history of the project.   

Eugene Parks and Open Space partnered with Downtown Rotary and SES to create and 18,000+ square foot skatepark facility in Washington-Jefferson Park.  It is the largest covered and lit skatepark in the region, allowing year round skating opportunities.  The park is expected to be heavily used locally by after school instructional programs and has the support of School District 4J, Eugene City Council, County Commissioners, ODOT, and more than 1,700 local petitioners who have passionately advocated for the skatepark since the early stages in 2004.

Designed by Dreamland Skateparks, and the City of Eugene, the park is unique opportunity to locally view a great example of some complex concrete shapes and extensive concrete finishing techniques.  The tour was organized for the opportunity to ask questions about how architects and designers can facilitate and deliver designs for complex concrete work and what techniques contractors are using to create various levels of finishes for concrete.

What we learned:

  • Existing on site was an old wooden playground that went largely unused due to its age and the previous seedy nature of the site
  • Drainage work was a driving force behind the project.  The skatepark drains tie into the overpass drainage at the base of the overpass support columns.  This junction box was left in place due to ODOT not wanting it affected.  Thus the junction box dictated the maximum depth any of the concrete bowls could go.
  • Electrical hub:  The brains behind the whole of the Washington Jefferson park electrical systems was located where the park was to go.  Thus major work was involved in re-routing all of the electrical wiring to a new control hub located in the bath pavilion.  The pavilion also contains some storage for both the skatepark and horseshoe park.
  • Dreamland design build:  The city of Eugene produced construction document for the project, but the concrete bowls were constructed largely in a design / build fashion by Dreamland.  Dreamland is a design build company comprise of skateboarders who build skateparks.  Construction documents laid out overall depth, coping heights, and one or two cross sections for each bowl.  Transitions between bowls were completed on site by the construction team
  • Shotcrete:  All of the skate park proper was completed using shotcrete.  This facilitated limited amounts of formwork as the builders compacted the banks, laid the rebar, placed the coping, and created screed boards.  Shotcrete with a low slump was then shot in and finishing took place immediately.
  • Finishing:  Finishing was completed with a variety of hand built trowels and floats.  The concrete was steeled smooth and sealed for water protection.  The finish is glossy smooth.


Finished project a few days before the opening:

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Opening Day:   The park opened on Friday, April 4th and by my standards it was a success.  Check out some pictures from the first hour of opening.


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Again, a special thanks to:

Below are links provided by Adam Steffen for more information about the project: