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Mid-City CAN Blog

Skate Park Construction Breaks Through Another Barrier

The skate park slotted for development on the old Copley YMCA property hit a wall this summer when the contractor was laid off, grinding construction to a halt. A new contractor was hired and has already begun work to make up for lost time. An official statement from Marty Emerald’s office stated:

“Due to poor performance, the original contractor (APR) was removed from the project in June 2015 and the surety bond company was directed to secure a replacement contractor to complete the work.”

Construction under way.

When a group of teenagers at the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network Youth Council first decided they wanted a skate park in City Heights, dozens of obstacles stood in their way. Not only were some people in the community opposed to the idea, there were layers of bureaucratic tape and local politics to dig through. One thing kept them going: they knew it was a good idea.

“This are of the city lacks parks and recreation space for youth. Our residential population in ratio to green space is deficient in City Heights compared to other communities, and we deserve a safe place like everyone else. That idea really kept us going,” said Terry Stanley, Youth Council Organizer at Mid-City CAN.

And they did keep going. The youth fought hard to gain official approval, managing to secure a grant to fund their project. The group was recognized for their outstanding work last April when the Mid-City CAN Youth Council won an award from the American Planning Association for “Best Grassroots Initiative.”

Despite the victory, the execution of their plans has been continually delayed from the beginning. The skate park was originally supposed to be completed by this November, but due to the construction problems, the deadline was extended to next summer.

“It’s frustrating that we had to go through problems in the political process and now we’re also having problems through the physical process,” said Stanley. “It’s just one more challenge that we’re overcome. We will see this skate park completed. Hopefully by next summer the skaters of city heights will have a safe place to skate. Its taking longer because it’s going be even greater.”

Construction under way for skate park.

In a news release to the public, Marty Emerald’s office said that the decision cannot affect the ultimate deadline for completion, which was set in place by the state grant funding the project. “The new contractor (Hazard Construction) will resume construction on 9/21/15 with a target park opening date of Summer 2016.  This does not jeopardize the April 30, 2016 construction billing deadline for the state grant.” 

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