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Big Air Delay

Construction On Riverwalk Skatepark Postponed

A conceptual rendering of how the Riverwalk Skatepark might look like once constructed near McCrea Point Park in Jamestown. Submitted photo

No skateboarder will be performing a frontside 180 ollie at the new proposed Riverwalk Skatepark in the city of Jamestown this year.

On Tuesday during a City Riverfront Management Council meeting held at McCrea Point Park, Julia Ciesla-Hanley, city recreation coordinator, discussed how the construction of the proposed $500,000 skatepark will be delayed until 2021. Jeff Lehman, city public works director, announced during a Jamestown City Council work session meeting Monday that the company hired to do the design and the construction of the project — Grindline Skateparks Inc. of Seattle, Wash. — has had difficulty traveling to Jamestown because of the restrictions that have been imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, the Jamestown City Council approved to enter into a contract with Grindline for the design build of the new Riverwalk Skatepark project. Prior to the vote in June, Lehman told the council that city officials received three bids for design and construction of the skatepark. He said the skating experts on the committee for the new park selected Grindline as the best of the three proposals. Lehman said Lake Shore Paving, who also bid on the project, will assist Grindline with the construction work.

Ciesla-Hanley said despite the delay in the construction, the design of the park will be completed this year. She said a public meeting will be scheduled later this year to gather input about the proposed park.

She said officials with the now known The Skatepark Project, which was formally known as the Tony Hawk Foundation, understand the delay and will still be awarding the city a $250,000 matching grant for the skatepark project. The new state-of-the-art outdoor skatepark has also been made possible in the city with the assistance of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

The City Riverfront Management Council discussing the proposed Riverwalk Skatepark at McCrea Point Park Tuesday. City officials have announced the park will not be constructed this year because the COVID-19 pandemic has made travel difficult for the Seattle, Wash., firm hired to design and construct the park. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

In January 2019, city officials, announced receiving the Tony Hawk Foundation matching grant of up to $250,000 for the new skatepark in the city. The location of the new park will be along Chadakoin River across the highway from McCrea Point Park.

Ciesla-Hanley announced Tuesday that steel from a railroad bridge that will be dismantled near the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will be used at the new proposed skate park. Initial discussions about the park have also included using pieces of a former building foundation in the design of the skatepark. The proposed site of the skatepark is the former Jamestown Trolley Building location.

Since January 2019, there’s been several grassroots fundraising events held by the local skating community to raise funds. In addition, city’s Urban Development Action Grant fund and federal Community Development Block Grant funding the city receives annually will go toward the local $250,000 match. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has a special fund for the project titled SK8 JTNY. Those interested in donating can send a check to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY 14701. For more information, visit crcfonline.org.

During the meeting Tuesday, Brent Sheldon, council member and Ward 1 councilman, announced that the state of Washington was taken off New York state’s travel advisory list. However, city officials don’t know how this will impact the construction of the project.

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