Meeting on proposed Pitcher Park in Dormont is set
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Anyone who has design ideas for Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark in Dormont can suggest them next Thursday at the initial design meeting on the park.
Representatives from the skate park design firm Grindline Skateparks Inc. of Seattle will be at the 7 p.m. meeting in Dormont Public Library.
Former Dormont resident Mary Pitcher of Scott has spearheaded the effort to build a skate park in Dormont to honor her sons, Vincent, 21, and Stephen, 19, who drowned in 2008 while on a camping trip in the Allegheny National Forest.
The creation of the 15,000-square-foot skate park at Banksville Road and Dormont Avenue has been a divisive issue among Dormont residents, with some opposing it, in part, because they fear it will be unsightly and will lower property values.
Council narrowly approved the project in April 2010. It allocated the land where the Banksville Road tennis courts are located for the park, with the stipulation that the tennis courts be relocated to Memorial Drive and that the project be completed within five years of April 5, 2010.
Mrs. Pitcher said she expects at least 100 people to attend the design kickoff meeting next Thursday. She noted that the purpose of the meeting is to "bring like-minded, positive people who are in favor of skate parks, to listen, ask questions and provide input on the skate park."
Last year, Grindline representatives flew to Pittsburgh to provide a general presentation of their design capabilities to the organization creating the park.
"It was really cool," Mrs. Pitcher said. "The stuff that they can do -- really, your imagination is the limit. Whatever you can imagine, they can do."
She noted, however, that her primary focus is to get the basic park built.
"If we can do it without a lot of extras for now, then maybe we can add extras down the road with continuing fundraisers," she said.
Next Thursday's meeting will be the first of several to be held with Grindline.
Ken Schultz, a Bridgeville native now living in Arizona, donated $40,000 to cover the cost of Grindline's final design and construction drawings. Mr. Schultz could not be reached for comment, but Mrs. Pitcher said he learned of the project from professional skateboarder Mike Valley at a Tony Hawk Foundation function and felt compelled to contribute.
The Tony Hawk Foundation previously provided $10,000 in grant funding for the project, which Mrs. Pitcher said is expected to cost $400,000 to $450,000.
In addition to the Tony Hawk and Ken & Carol Schultz Foundation grants, support for the park will come from fundraisers, in-kind donations and corporate sponsorships, Mrs. Pitcher said.
First Published May 19, 2011 5:41 am