Omokoroa's unique skate path opens today to an enthusiastic audience of young skateboarders and their parents who helped drive the $200,000 project to completion.

"It's real fast," builder 'J' Beaudry of J-Stone Skateparks told Bay of Plenty Times Weekend yesterday as the final tidy-up took place for the gala opening at 2pm.

The 188m skate path has been hailed as an important community asset for Omokoroa by the town's community board chairman, Don Cameron.

"A lot of young people in the area wanted it and the school did a good presentation to the council."


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The project was driven by the school and a committee of parents with young children, with the community raising $100,000 and the Western Bay District Council and community board going halves for the other $100,000.

The design and construction of the skate path has a strong Raglan connection, with both Mr Beaudry and designer Richard Smith of Rich Landscapes hailing from the seaside town.

Mr Beaudry said the project was unique in terms of its emphasis on sustainability, including the minimum 100mm bed of concrete.

"We compacted the hell out of it so that it will last a lot longer."

Compaction techniques plus high-end surface treatment have combined to give the skate path rugged sustainability and great traction. Emphasis was also put on recycling the wooden concrete form-work and ensuring minimal wastage of other building materials.

The job took three months and involved 100 cubic metres of concrete. A small but noteworthy detail was the placement of stone that had a natural curve to make a comfortable seat.

Mr Beaudry, who is 45 and still skating, said his favourite feature was the big taco: "It grinds well and was good for airs". Other features were the quarter-pipe with sleepers, the long ledge, the snake run, the pumping track and big fly-out.

The skate path and neighbouring tennis court was part of the first stage of the major redevelopment of Omokoroa's Western Ave Sports Ground which was set to be transformed into a fully fledged $1.5 million sports and recreation centre by 2019.

Mr Cameron said the community really needed the second tennis court to allow fixtures like interclub - it was just a matter of where it would go.

The redevelopment was timed to cater for the influx of young families into the town, with Omokoroa's population projected to double over the next 10 years to more than 5000 people. Housing Minister Nick Smith was recently shown over a kiwifruit orchard that would ultimately be transformed into a 17.6ha development.

The first phase would see up to 165 houses built in a medium-density subdivision, ultimately holding 255 homes. An area of 4000sq m had been set aside for an affordable housing cluster.

Developer Peter Cooney made it clear it would be hard to achieve the council's target of a quarter of the houses in the subdivision being priced at less than $350,000, saying that even the target of a quarter of the houses selling for $350,000 to $400,000 would be a challenge.