Skatepark will bring more than memories to Carnegie
Mary Pitcher hopes the skatepark she envisions will benefit Carnegie, in addition to memorializing her sons.
“A skatepark will bring more business,” Pitcher said. “We think it will become a destination skatepark. It will bring business to restaurants, shops and everything.”
A ceremony marking the start of construction on Pitcher Park in Carnegie Park is set for 7 p.m. Sunday, nearly five years to the day since two of Pitcher's sons were killed during a camping trip. Vincent, 21, and Stephen, 19, drowned in Kinzua Reservoir on July 15, 2008.
The $600,000 park has been funded largely by a grant from the Ken & Carol Schultz Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit run by former Bridgeville resident Ken Schultz, with the foundation and borough raising 15 percent of the total.
The Tony Hawk Foundation disbursed the grant money, and Grindline Skateparks of Seattle designed and will build the skatepark with a large, unique full pipe, two bowls and a street course with obstacles. Construction could be complete in four to five months.
Philip Salvato of 3rd Street Gallery in Carnegie said the park will be a positive for the community.
“I think, overall, it will be good for the area,” he said. “I just wish the park were closer to town. But I do think it will bring people into town.”
A skatepark can have a far-reaching impact on a community, said Peter Whitley, programs director for Hawk's foundation, based in Vista, Calif.
“We're turning kids from a perceived public nuisance to regular kids who are athletic and passionate,” Whitley said. “It legitimizes what these kids are already doing.”
On top of that, he said, the complex will promote a healthy, active lifestyle among youths.
“Childhood obesity is such a big deal,” Whitley said. “We're always talking about getting kids out and having them be a part of the community. It makes sense to draw them into places where they can do that.”
Pitcher said she feels strongly about this.
“It's a vicious cycle with these kids,” she said. “They skate and bike in groups, and anytime people see a bunch of kids in a group, it's automatically considered a gang.”
Pitcher said kids who skateboard are discriminated against because they have no place to go. They end up in parking lots or on the street, which leads to run-ins with police, she said.
While the foundation doesn't have much data specifically on the economic impact of the parks on communities, Whitley said feedback from community leaders in skatepark towns has been positive.
“When a skatepark opens, it can draw people from the outlying communities to bring their kids to the skatepark,” he said.
John Rusnak, borough engineer in Bellevue, said he has seen this firsthand in Bellevue's recently opened skate plaza.
“I've talked to people out skating, and they're from places like Washington and Somerset,” he said. “Word gets out amongst the skateboard community, and when they hear of something new people want to get out there and see what's there.”
Pitcher, of Scott, tried unsuccessfully to locate the skatepark in Dormont, then looked at sites in Mt. Lebanon and Scott before an agreement was reached with Carnegie officials to put the complex in the borough park off Forsythe Road.
Fundraising continues for a spectator area at Pitcher Park, through memorial brick sales and other programs.
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 4120388-5810 or email@example.com.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New digital media center debuts at Chartiers Valley
- Carnegie library brings Broadway flair to fundraiser
- Oyler: Vacation allows family bonding, exploration of new places
- Bridgeville, South Fayette libraries look to replace director
- Family rolls into Bridgeville with ice-cream truck dream
- Fundraiser in Bridgeville to help family after liver transplant
- Architect says South Fayette district is ready for next step in school expansion
- Carnegie looks to address borough’s flooding trouble spots
- South Fayette Giant Eagle open for business
- Town Talk: Carnegie family plans May 2015 wedding
- Carnegie massage business clears hurdle