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By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux

Long-awaited community amenities for the San Juan Capistrano community will take significant steps forward next year.

Construction on the Putuidem Cultural Village, intended to honor the area’s indigenous Acjachemen people, is “well underway,” according to a statement from the city. Construction is expected to finish by spring 2021. The city council approved awarding a construction contract in August to C.S. Legacy Construction for the project—the company that also handled this year’s Verdugo Street renovations and an expansion of the parking lot near the Los Rios area.

As for San Juan’s skateboard park, which local skaters and others have advocated for, the city received several design proposals from design firms that are currently being reviewed by staff.

Putuidem Village will include a presentation area at the city’s Northwest Open Space with seating, a discovery trail, shade trees and various depictions of Acjachemen culture.

The Putuidem Cultural Village at the Northwest Open Space is expected to be completed early next year.. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

“Additionally, directional markers, as well as interpretive signage, will be placed around the park,” the city said, after an inquiry from The Capistrano Dispatch. “The amphitheater area will include boulders, log seats, and a stage with a decomposed granite surface.  The surrounding areas of the park will have native plant habitat.”

A new wood rail fence will be installed along the village’s boundary, and other existing fencing will remain. 

A concrete pad will be installed south of the cultural village area to accommodate two ADA-compliant portable restrooms, the city further said.

With the skate park project, the city intends to award a design contract at a public meeting in early 2021.

“The design phase will take approximately six months to complete,” the city said. “Once final plans and specifications are prepared, the city will seek construction bids in mid-2021, with the goal of being under construction later next year.”

Skaters participate in a Skate Jam in San Juan Capistrano in November 2019. Steps are underway to bring the city’s skate park to life for 2021. Photo: Collin Breaux

The city recently sought and received proposals from design firms to refine the conceptual design and identify a specific location. The park will generally be on a portion of city-owned land by the San Juan Capistrano Sports Park and Community Center.

Both projects were temporarily put on hold earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty surrounding subsequent economic impacts, but they later were authorized to resume as the city’s fiscal conditions became clearer.

Collin Breaux

 Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com.

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