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Skatepark groundbreaking in Carnegie quells doubters

Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item - Mary Pitcher with her grandson Rook Pitcher, 3, both of Scott Township, followed by Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek head to the future site of Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark to break ground Sunday at Carnegie Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item</em></div>Mary Pitcher with her grandson Rook Pitcher, 3, both of Scott Township, followed by Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek head to the future site of Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark to break ground Sunday at Carnegie Park.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item - Residents and supporters release balloons into the air in honor of Vincent and Stephen Pitcher during the groundbreaking for Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark on Sunday at Carnegie Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item</em></div>Residents and supporters release balloons into the air in honor of Vincent and Stephen Pitcher during the groundbreaking for Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark on Sunday at Carnegie Park.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item - John Pitcher, 31, of Scott Township talks about what Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park means to him while Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek (left) and his mother Mary Pitcher of Scott Township listen in during a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday at Carnegie Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item</em></div> John Pitcher, 31, of Scott Township talks about what Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park means to him while Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek (left) and his mother Mary Pitcher of Scott Township listen in during a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday at Carnegie Park.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Mary Pitcher's delayed dream of building a skatepark in memory of her sons became a tangible one on Sunday evening.

Organizers broke ground for Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark in Carnegie Park, nearly five years to the day after two of her sons, Stephen and Vincent, drowned during a camping trip.

“This is an exciting day,” said Pitcher, of Scott. “This is a very exciting day.”

Leaders picked Carnegie Park after considering sites in Dormont, Mt. Lebanon and Scott.

Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek called the park a “godsend.”

“This will be a nice, wholesome, safe place for kids to play,” he said. “This will be an avenue for them to take their skills to the next level.”

Seattle-based Grindline Skateparks designed the park and will carry out construction, which begins Aug. 1. The finished park will include a large, full pipe, a bowl 4 to 6 feet deep, a bowl 8 to 10 feet deep and a street course with various obstacles.

A seven-person crew from Grindline will spend four to five months working on the park. Pitcher's foundation is providing an apartment and equipment for the crew.

“I think people thought I was crazy. There were many doubters,” she said.

Pitcher said she hopes the park will become a place not just for fun but for people to show their skills.

“There are so many talented, skilled skaters here, and they have nowhere to go,” she said.

The $600,000 park has been funded mostly through a grant from the Ken & Carol Schultz Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit run by Bridgeville native Ken Schultz. The Pitcher Park Foundation, formed by Pitcher to help further her skatepark dreams, raised the remaining 15 percent of the money.

Additional funds are being raised to build a spectator area.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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