GLOVERSVILLE -- Elk Street Park, also known as "the Cage," is set for a major "resurfacing" project, which will include a multi-color mural designed by a Gloversville High School student — provided enough funds can be raised to pay for it.
Phase one of the Elk Street Project is expected to cost approximately $45,000 to $50,000, and will include resurfacing the basketball court with a colorful mural design, updating fencing and "festive" removable seating.
Jennifer Jennings, the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth's downtown development specialist, said the Elk Street Project fits in with Gloversville's downtown revitalization goals. She said the park is positioned at one of the gateways to the city and can help set a new tone for visitors to Gloversville.
"My effort has always been toward place-making, which is connecting community to their built environment, and creating positive buzz and positive lasting change — no one wants to move to an area or invest in an area that has a negative feeling about itself," Jennings said.
Jennings said the Elk Street Project is a collaborative effort supported by Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, the city of Gloversville and a national organization called "Project Backboard," a non-profit group that has organized similar park revitalizations throughout the U.S. Donations to the park project can made at downtowngloversville.org.
At the end of the 2018-19 school year, five finalist designs were chosen from entries submitted by Gloversville High School art students. During the month of October, Gloversville community members were asked to chose one of the designs using an online voting system at downtowngloversville.org.
Tuesday night the winning mural design by GHS senior Kaylin Lee was unveiled before a Gloversville varsity basketball game. The other four finalists were Cassandra Baurle, Nina Lomanto, Zindora Richards and Julia Robare.
"The Gloversville School District is proud to partner with the CRG and the city on Project Backboard,” said David Halloran, superintendent of schools for the Gloversville Enlarged School District. “The selected design is excellent, as were the other choices. We look forward to seeing the conceptual designs become a reality and look forward to future partnerships to help re-imagine our community. Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make this happen."
Another aspect of the resurfacing will be a banner honoring murder victim Shauna Beekman and locally known basketball player Anthony "Ice" Coger, who died following an accident. The banner will feature a basketball with angel wings and a halo.
The city of Gloversville recently purchased two properties at the Fulton County foreclosure auction — 12 Elk St. ($593.82) and 113 Washington St. ($4,658) — for the purposes of expanding the Elk Street Park during phase two of the revitalization project.
“Nothing is more beneficial to a community than enthusiasm for positive change,” said Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis. “This year we have partnered with the school district on a number of successful projects. Our students, teachers and administrators have been great, and this is yet another success. They’re setting an example for all of us.”