Published: 04/27/2022 16:55:38
Modified: 04/27/2022 16:54:10
GREENFIELD – Local skateboarding enthusiasts gathered at the town offices on Sanderson Street on Tuesday evening for a reveal of the final design for the new skate park, which is set to be built in the northern part of what is now the public parking lot between Chapman and Davis streets.
“It was a dream that I had said, ‘Once I build the skatepark, I can officially retire,'” said Christy Moore, Director of Recreation. “I don’t plan on retiring, but I’m glad it’s happening before I’m ready to.”
The project, Moore noted, was a “true community effort.”
“We held fundraisers in the community,” she said. “We received capital funds from the city council. We received the PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities) grant of $400,000. Without everyone’s help, this wouldn’t happen.
Tuesday’s meeting followed a design plan meeting on April 7, during which members of the public were invited to ask questions and provide feedback.
The $780,000 skate park, with an estimated completion date of late spring 2023, would replace the former 17,000 square foot skate park at the rear of what are now the Olive Street Apartments. The project is funded by $350,000 in capital funds, $30,000 in community donations and the state’s PARC grant of $400,000.
The skate park is designed by Pillar Design Studios, which has been involved in similar projects in Turners Falls, Springfield and Worcester, according to Brad Siedlecki, president of the landscape architecture firm. Pillar Design Studios specializes in action sports design, planning, construction and process services.
“Brad has done an amazing job incorporating all of the elements of our skate park that you emailed me and presented to Brad on April 7th,” Moore said.
On Tuesday, Siedlecki shared a virtual rendering of the approximately 11,000 square foot skate park, which includes four entry points – three of which are handicapped accessible – a shade structure, benches, a solar charging station for electronics and water bottle refill stations. Most notably, the skate park offers a nod to Poet’s Seat Tower.
“I would really like to bring in local artists to recreate the brick pattern of Poet’s Seat,” he said.
Meeting attendees asked about the trees, which will be planted in part to alleviate the noise pollution residents expressed concern about at the meeting earlier this month. In response to questions about the lighting – especially from residents who hoped to see the stadium’s lighting – Moore reminded people to be aware of light pollution.
“Let’s build a park, use the lights we have and go from there,” she said.
Acknowledging that minor design changes would follow Tuesday’s meeting, Moore said she was pleased with Siedlecki’s design and grateful for the skateboarding community‘s involvement throughout the process.
She was especially grateful to see the Poet’s Seat tower included in the design.
“Poet’s Seat Tower is what we’re known for,” Moore said. “I wanted there to be a local touch.”
Journalist Mary Byrne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne