City officials, funders, and community members broke ground on the future skatepark in Jamestown Thursday. The poured concrete structure will be located between the Chadakoin River and Greater Jamestown Riverwalk at 117 Fairmount Avenue. Mayor Eddie Sundquist said not every community has been able to break ground on a project like this in a middle of a pandemic,
“So the fact that we’re still working on behalf of our kids, our youth, here in the City of Jamestown to make sure we have a space where they can be the best they can be is so incredibly important.”
The $500-thousand dollar project is being funded through a $250-thousand dollar grant from The Skatepark Project, formerly known as the Tony Hawk Foundation, and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.
The Skatepark Project‘s Trevor Staples said the process for Jamestown to get this park started 3-years ago with the Built To Play program when he reached out to Jamestown Skate Products owner Pete Scheira,
“And I was going to give him all the information about the new grant program and he said ‘I’m already working on the application,’ so he’s really got his act together and Pete Scheira is really the driving force behind all this. This couldn’t be possible without the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation who’s funded up to 20 skateparks throughout the region, so at least 10 in Western New York”
Scheira, as part of the Skate J-T-N-Y group led the community fundraising for the park,
“We started raising money for this, I’d say, with the Active Artists Alliance about 10 years ago. We started having skateboard art deck shows and just keeping the money put away in a bank account waiting for this day to happen. But really we never knew where it was going to be. We just knew some day that the time would be right and the skatepark would happen and kept having the shows.”
The matching funds of $250-thousand dollars were raised by the City of Jamestown, SK8 JTNY, and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The City also was awarded at $50-thousand dollar grant for green infrastructure as part of the project due to its proximity to the Chadakoin River.
Officials anticipate the skate park will be fully constructed and opened by the end of this summer.