By Kellen M. Quigley
As members of the Springville Skatepark committee make their rounds to various groups and officials throughout the community, the village’s Board of Trustees recently added their names to the list of those who support the potential project.
At the board’s Tuesday meeting, the trustees approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Bill Krebs to sign a letter of support in favor of an application by Green Springville to the Tony Hawk Foundation to rebuild the outdated skateplex at Heritage Park.
Seth Wochensky, member of the skatepark committee and treasurer of Green Springville, updated the board on the grant application, which, if awarded, would provide $250,000 toward the project in matching funds.
“The current skate pad is considered, by them, a temporary skate facility,” he said. The Tony Hawk Foundation has partnered with the Ralph C. Jr. Foundation to help fund concrete skateparks to be installed in Western New York and Eastern Michigan. “We have been encouraged to apply by the Foundation.”
At the time of the meeting, Wochensky said there are no matching funds or commitment needed from the village. He said there is a lot of work to be done to figure it all out in the coming years.
“What’s envisioned for the skatepark if it goes forward would be a significant improvement for the park as a whole,” he continued. “There’s opportunities to address not just the skatepark by itself but also environmental mitigation that would go with the skate improvements.
Wochensky said there have been several public meetings held so far with input from the community, including the kids who would use it. He said they’ve looked at a several designs so far and are envisioning something that’s more than simply an asphalt pad.
Springville resident Danielle Fallon, whose son Danny uses the current skatepark, said she thinks a new concrete skatepark would look a lot better.
“The Tony Hawk Foundation would also give up to an additional $50,000 for environmental aspects of the park, too,” she said. “There shouldn’t be any taxpayer dollars involved. I believe it will all be fundraising and matching of the grant.”
Deputy Mayor Nils Wikman said he was involved with building the current outdated skatepark, adding that it is “way overdue” for a replacement.
“If anyone is familiar with the concrete bowls they’ve been doing for skateparks … it will be a significant improvement,” he said. “Probably just after we got that one done, they started doing the concrete bowls.”
Fallon said the new park wouldn’t be only for skateboarding but also rollerblading, scooters and BMX biking.
“Danny races BMX and there’s a lot of kids from Springville who also race out at the Hamburg BMX track,” she added. “We’re trying to get the kids involved, which can be hard this time of year, but we’re planning more events to get them really excited about this.”
In a copy of the village’s letter, it states that the trustees understand that if the grant is awarded, the secured funding, planning and building would become a village responsibility subject to future Board of Trustee approval.
“Because the village, in partnership with Springville Youth Incorporated, built a first-generation skate and bike facility in 2006, and sees value in a possible construction on the existing site of an improved, safe and inviting facility, the village supports the application of Green Springville for the Tony Hawk Foundation Grant,” the letter reads.
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