Planners want Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark, which is to be built in Carnegie Park, to be a regional draw, so they were thrilled when that's exactly what happened last Thursday at the first public planning session for the skate park.
"There were people there from everywhere," said Mary Shea Pitcher, mother of the late Stephen and Vincent Pitcher, for whom the park will be a memorial. "It was just amazing. One kid had been to every skatepark in Pittsburgh and he was a wealth of knowledge."
Some youths brought their skateboards.
About 80 people turned out for the four-hour session at Cefalo's Banquet and Event Center in Carnegie, including Carnegie residents and business owners plus people from Mt. Lebanon, Scott, Heidelberg, Dormont and as far as Washington County.
Also attending were skate park designer Micah Shapiro and Ken Schultz of the Ken and Carol Schultz Foundation of Fountain Hills, Ariz., which is donating 85 percent of the project's expected $600,000 cost.
"I was pretty overwhelmed that the big donor flew in to attend," Mayor Jack Kobistek said.
Mr. Shapiro, marketing/sales manager and lead designer for Grindline Skateparks in Seattle, presented a video and slide show of skate parks that had been built in other cities.
"The skate parks are gorgeous. Some of them took my breath away," Councilwoman Carol Covi said. She also was impressed that Mr. Shapiro went from table to table to take comments.
Mrs. Pitcher, whose two sons died in a drowning accident in 2008, said more public planning sessions will be held before the design is finalized.
Organizers hope to break ground in the spring. The skate park will be designed to fit in with the terrain of Carnegie Park.
For more information, see www.pitcherpark.com.neigh_west
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.