A local skateboarder flies off a ramp during a demonstration held in conjunction with the 'Sham Rock the Block' event held on St. Patrick's Day weekend in Lake George. More than a dozen teenagers have been working for years to establish a skate park where they can hone their skills. As of this week, the park is closer to reality, thanks to new funding sources.
A skateboard park that’s envisioned to attract enthusiasts of the sport from all over the northeast is closer to reality, thanks to local teens and adults who’ve worked hard to raise money, Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said this week.
The group of Lake George High School students — plus several graduates — have spent six years raising money and lobbying local officials for a park. As of this past week, they’ve raised about $36,000, with the help of volunteer adults, Blais said. The sum includes revenue from a coin drop held the weekend of July 7.
The skateboard park is planned for development in the northwest corner of the Charles Wood Park, formerly the Gaslight Village property.
Blais said the skateboard facility is to be built in two phases — the first with such street elements as rails, stairs and benches, with provisions to add a competition skating bowl later on.
Blais said July 17 he was hoping that construction on the park would start this fall and be finished by spring. At the latest, he said, such work would begin in spring 2013, along with development of other features of Charles Wood Park including a children’s play area and festival venue.
The skateboard park was to cost $110,000 but is now estimated to cost $150,000, due to upgrades in features and quality of materials to be used, he said.
The skateboard park committee — consisting of a dozen or so youths plus adults including Patricia Dow and Delores Marinelli — has raised the $36,000 from garage sales, dinners, food sales and other fundraisers. Lake George Village has contributed $20,000, and the town of Lake George has pledged $10,000 — a sum Blais said he’s seeking to confirm at a joint village-town meeting set for 5 p.m. July 23.
Also, the Lake George Rotary Club has pledged $1,000, a sum also promised by Stewart’s Shops.
A substantial portion of construction funds are expected to come from both a pending grant from the Charles Wood Foundation and proceeds from a $1.8 million grant — an application for which the village just recently submitted, but expects to obtain.
Also, the skateboarders are holding an Art on Skateboards sale later this year as a fundraiser, Blais said. The proceeds from this sale are to purchase helmets and pads for people who come to the park to skate without appropriate equipment, he said.
Blais told the village board Monday July 16 about another potential source of funds for the park. He said the James Quirk family of Shoreline enterprises has proposed to hold a skate-park fundraiser on one of their cruise boats, with the Quirks matching proceeds up to $5,000 — yielding up to $10,000 for the park project. Their donation was proposed in exchange for the park to be named after Matthew E. Quirk, who died in 2009. Board members said they appreciated the family’s generous spirit, and would consider the offer.