The single largest barrier to creating a quality skatepark is in relying on a weak Request For Proposal (RFP) specification. It’s an easy problem to fix but too many Parks Planners and city officials simply go with what they mistakenly believe will provide the least expensive facility that will meet the minimum requirements of the skateboarding community.
This flawed approach leads to bids for the project that ultimately do not meet the community’s needs. The agency is then (typically) legally required to accept the lowest bid. In EVERY case where a few expensive ramps were installed on a derelict tennis court, compelling concrete structures could have been built for the same price.
It has been said a thousand times before but it bears repeating: The return on investment for concrete skateparks makes fiscal sense. The cumulative maintenance on steel and wooden structures can be costly in the long run. Not to mention the dangers of rusting steel or rotting wood.
This vicious cycle begins with a poorly written RFP.
To help communities prevent this tragedy we offer a generic concrete skatepark RFP that can be used as a template. You are invited to copy and/or modify this language to suit your needs.
IMPORTANT: City Planners must be skeptical of proposals that cite “or like replacement” clauses in their bid proposals as they are often used to introduce a steel or wood ramp products. Steel or wooden structures are NO REPLACEMENT for poured-in-place structures. Steel and wooden structures—and any skatepark structure that features a steel transition plate to adjoin two riding surfaces—are not equitable in structural, usage, or aesthetic quality and must be avoided.
SKATERS FOR PUBLIC SKATEPARKS BID SPECIFICATIONS
All bidders shall provide proof of;
- 3 years of continuous operation under current corporate or entity name
- 5 References, including name and contact information, based on contracts held by bidding corporation or entity using Poured in Place construction methods similar to those required under this bid
- Proof of proper liability and Workers Compensation Insurance including limits
- Declaration of any suits or claims against bidder, (or subsidiary or co-owned entity), for warranty, negligence or failure to complete any project within the last 10 years.
- All Bids shall include detailed timeline, including start and completion dates. Bids that do not include this item will be deemed unresponsive and disqualified
- All Bids shall include full detail and specification sheet for concrete mix and supplier to be used in construction. Bids that do not include this item will be deemed unresponsive and disqualified
- All Bids shall include written plan for typical hydration and sawcut methods and schedule. (Expected special conditions such as summer or winter weather should be taken into consideration.)
Concrete Finish Requirements
Concrete finish and smoothness is of the utmost importance. Before construction begins winning bidder shall furnish on-site samples of the following at bidder’s expense. Samples must be of the mix type declared in Bid/ Proposal and will be retained by City for comparison to finished product. Samples may also be tested for comprehensive strength at City’s expense.
(Note: Sample sections may not be appropriate for “skate spots” under 3,000 square feet. Photographic evidence of previous samples may suffice.)
- 24” x 24” x 6” flat with typical sawcut and rebar placement. Sample shall include any examples of radius edging and sealant proposed in Skatepark
- 36” x 12″ EXAMPLE OF STEEL EDGING DETAIL including any radius edging adjacent to steel edging
- 36” x 12″ EXAMPLE OF STEEL COPING DETAIL including any radius edging adjacent to steel edging
- IF APPLICABLE 36” x 12’ EXAMPLE OF CONCRETE (pool) COPING DETAIL including any radius edging adjacent to CONCRETE edging
- Cylinder test at City’s discretion and expense
Basic Standards and Requirements
- Coping and steel edging must be cleaned, primed and painted correctly
- At no point shall standard ‘flat’ concrete be less than 5” thick
- At no point shall ramp or bank concrete be less than 6” thick
- At no point shall reinforcing steel be smaller than 3/8” rebar. Welded wire mesh may be used WITH—but not in place of—rebar
- At no point shall reinforcing steel be spaced more than 12” on center except in flat pours where 18” is acceptable
- No concrete shall have a comprehensive strength less than 4000 psi unless otherwise noted on plan or allowed by City
- Water added on site shall not exceed 1 gallon per yard remaining on truck unless allowed by client
- All concrete should be poured in place and obtained from a plant not further than 30 miles from construction site
- Concrete must be placed completely within 120 minutes of leaving batch plant
- No concrete shall have an aggregate smaller than 3/8”
- No concrete shall be poured at a slump greater than 5”
- All vertical faces shall be vibrated smooth with no voids or projections
- Steel coping shall be anchored by welded steel anchors. Rebar is NOT considered a steel anchor. All anchors shall be at minimum cold rolled black steel rod or bolts
- Steel coping anchors shall never be placed within 2” of surface of concrete to avoid cracking and rust broadcast
- ALL concrete shall have a 1/8” radius tooled edge in any instance where it comes in contact with steel edging
- Vertical 1/4” steel plate is excepted from above requirement
Basic Jobsite Standards and Requirements
- Site should be secured with fencing
- Site must manage water retention
- Site must remain clean, orderly and free of trash or debris at all times
- Blowing debris must be contained at all times
- Contractor shall have a dumpster or containment system on site at all times
- Building debris must be cleaned and removed from site daily
- All trash including food containers may not be visible at any time
(Note: Cities are encouraged to develop a warranty that best suits their needs. It is not uncommon for Municipalities to document their own priorities for this type of purchase. In the event that a City allows the Bidder to propose their own warranty, consider including or amending the following items.)
- Contractor shall accept warranty items as follows;
- Contractor shall warrant that the product shall be free from hydration cracking for the entire duration of the construction project
- Cracks in excess of 1/4-inch shall be warranted for 1 year
- All steel edging shall be warranted against becoming loose for a period of 1 year
- All concrete surfaces shall warranted against surface spalling or scaling for a period of 1 year
- All concrete surfaces shall be warranted against spalling or scaling for a period of 1 year
- Concrete under or adjacent to steel edging or coping shall be free from voids, chipping, and/or failure for a period of 1 year