By Daina Klimans
The joys of grinding a handrail versus the thrill of dipping a skateboard into a deep bowl and coming out on the other side — they will all be up for debate. Skateboarders of all ages are invited to give their input on a York City skatepark. At a design meeting to be held Wednesday, skaters such as 16-year-old Matt Devlin will help decide whether the park will look like a city street, an otherworldly landscape of concrete dips and basins, or something in between. “I know a lot of people want street, but I think it would be cool to have a bowl,” said Matt. He said he hopes a variety of designs can be worked together, giving all users the kind of place they want to skate.
In memoriam: The park is being built in memory of Matt’s best friend, Reid Menzer, a York City boy who died in January at age 14. Reid had been riding a street luge, which is like a skateboard but ridden while lying down, when he was hit by a car. Reid, an avid skateboarder, had complained for years that the city did not have a skatepark. His death spurred family, friends and strangers to work together to build the park that he had wanted, for the benefit of other skateboard lovers. The concrete skatepark, to be built at the city’s Veterans Memorial Park, will be funded entirely through private donations. Designing it will be the Site Design Group Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., which has been involved in the creation of more than 80 skateparks, most of them on the West Coast. A representative of Site Design Group will survey skaters to find out what type of landscape they want to skate in and what kind of props they want for their tricks — “if they want the stairs, the handrails, the quarter pipes,” said Brad Siedlecki, designer and project manager for the company.
$65,000 in the bank: After Wednesday’s meeting, the company will put together a few potential designs. Those will be presented at a second meeting, at which skateboarders will get to choose which they like best and give suggestions to make it even better, Siedlecki said. Skatepark construction could begin next year, and fund raising for the project continues. A benefit concert last weekend raised almost $2,400 toward the park, said Rob Koller, who has been involved in project fund raising. Yet though more than $65,000 has been raised toward the park’s estimated $150,000 price tag in the months since the project began, Koller said he expects fund raising to become more difficult in the future. “We picked the low fruits, but I’m sure we’ll work for the additional ones,” Koller said. The effort will come from a devoted group. Matt Devlin and others involved in the efforts are not enjoying the new experiences that come with the work, but they are inspired by the reason behind it all. “I’m willing to do that because it’s all for Reid,” Matt said. “So no matter how hard the work gets, it’s all worth it.” The public design meeting is to be held Wednesday in the second floor community room of the Memorial Park Ice Rink at 900 S. Vander Ave. The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. and scheduled to last until 9 p.m.
York Daily Record
June 1, 2006