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Carnegie community discusses skate park design

| Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Micah Shapiro, lead designer of Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark, meets with residents at Cefalo's Night Club last week to discuss the future plans of construction. The skatepark will be located in Carnegie Park off Forsythe Road.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Signal Item
Micah Shapiro, lead designer of Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark, meets with residents at Cefalo's Night Club last week to discuss the future plans of construction. The skatepark will be located in Carnegie Park off Forsythe Road. Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
A slide from Micah Shapiro's presentation to a meeting at Cefalo's with aerial views of Carnegie Park.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Signal Item
A slide from Micah Shapiro's presentation to a meeting at Cefalo's with aerial views of Carnegie Park. Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item

Mary Pitcher and Ken Schultz have known each other for years.

They finally met in person last Thursday evening.

The two sat casually next to each other at Cefalo's Banquet & Event Center on Washington Avenue in Carnegie, where a meeting was held to discuss proposed design plans for a skate park to be built at Carnegie Park on Forsythe Road.

“We knew each other by talking to each other, but we had never met until tonight. That is just amazing to me,” said Pitcher, a Scott resident who in September chose Carnegie Park to be the site of Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park.

Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park will be built to honor Mary Pitcher's sons, Vincent and Stephen, who drowned together while on a camping trip in 2008.

Pitcher calls Schultz “the angel that came into my life.”

“I think everything happens for a reason. And when I heard from (Schultz), there was a reason for that to happen,” Pitcher told the crowd at Cefalo's.

Schultz, meanwhile, is a native of Bridgeville who now lives in San Diego, When he heard about the skate park through a friend, he did his own research.

“That's when I found out what I wanted to (do). And I knew from looking at this I wanted to be involved,” Schultz, 43, said.

The 15,000-square-foot park will cost about $600,000. Schultz (or the Ken and Carol Schultz Foundation) has donated 85 percent of this, and Pitcher is hoping that a series of fundraisers will help to raise more money for the park.

Pitcher and Schultz were among the estimated 75 people who attended the meeting. This included Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek; council members Carol Covi and Susan Demko; real estate agent and California Avenue resident Jeff Stephan; and about 20 young people who might use the skate park, which will be built on the sloping hill in the park.

The meeting drew residents from as far away as Canonsburg and Dormont.

Earlier this year, officials in Dormont voted against the skate park being built there.

Also at last week's meeting was Micah Shapiro, the lead designer for Grindline Skateparks Inc. of Seattle. Shapiro, 43, has been skateboarding since he was 16 and has designed more than 80 skate parks, he said.

“I can tell you that the goal is for this skate park in Carnegie is to be the best skate park in this area,” Shapiro said. “This is a pretty cool time to be a skateboarder right now. And this skate park will be designed to be the best in the area.”

The parameters of Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park in Carnegie are coming into shape.

• Ground will be broken at Carnegie Park sometime in the spring.

• If the weather cooperates, the skate park should be ready to go by mid- to late-summer.

• Up to 40 people will be able to use the Pitcher Park skate park at one time, Shapiro said.

• Tony Hawk, a professional skateboarder, is donating several thousand dollars to the Pitcher Park Memorial Foundation and may attend the grand opening of the park, borough officials have said.

Carnegie officials plan to hold two more design meetings for the skate park. Any resident interested in the park can come to the meetings and offer ideas on the design.

The second meeting probably will take place next month, Kobistek said.

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or jwidmer@tribweb.com.

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