SARATOGA SPRINGS–Built in 1989, Saratoga Springs’ East Side Recreation skatepark is the oldest public skatepark in the state. It’s so dated that the metal ramps and fixtures no longer meet current skatepark standards.
That’s why the Saratoga Springs City Council approved $265,000 in funding for a complete overhaul of the skatepark last August. And on Tuesday night, the council approved an additional $140,000 to cover increased cost of materials to create a poured-in-place concrete skatepark.
Tuesday night’s vote brings the total funding for the project up to $405,100.08 from $256,000. The total price of the project, including permit fees and design, is $445,905.08, according to Heather Crocker, the city’s deputy commissioner of Finance.
More than half of the additional funding approved on Tuesday–$70,100.08 to be exact–comes from crowdsourcing coordinated by On Deck Saratoga, a nonprofit under the umbrella of the Saratoga Institute that advocates and raises funds for community needs. Local businesses like Darling Doughnuts, Smashburger and Death Wish Coffee have donated to the cause, said Benj Gleeksman, On Deck’s vice president.
“The ramps and bowl in the current skatepark are getting worn out. They are rusty, they are starting to pop up a little bit. There is a bit of a safety issue there. But they are also very loud and cumbersome to roll over,” Gleeksman said. “The standard skatepark of today is poured-in-place concrete. That’s the current standard. It’s smoother, it’s more fun, it flows better, it’s quieter, and there is honestly less maintenance.”
The updated skatepark, which wouldn’t be built until next year at the earliest, will include an improved bowl, and a series of banks, quarter pipes, ledges, ramps and welded steel rails, according to Gleeksman.
“The skatepark is going to be redesigned to be more friendly to different levels of skateboarders,” said Gleeksman, who presented on the project on Tuesday alongside John Hirliman, the city’s administrative director of Recreation. “It’ll be easier for beginners to go into the skatepark, and there will be stuff for intermediate and advanced skaters.”
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.